Consumers are ready to adopt biometric authentication technology such as facial recognition and fingerprint sensors to access the majority of password-protected services, according to a new survey by Visa Inc.

Conducted on Visa’s behalf by AYTM Market Research and released Wednesday, the survey of 1000 Canadians discovered that while 59 per cent of consumers were familiar with biometric technology, 85 per cent were interested in using biometrics to verify their identity or make payments.

The survey also found that 65 per cent of respondents found biometric technology easier to use than passwords, and that 57 per cent considered it faster.

“Advances in mobile device technology is increasing the speed and accuracy of biometrics, such that they can be used for financial transactions,” Visa Canada’s head of risk services, Gord Jamieson, said in a Jan. 11 statement. “This makes it the ideal time to integrate biometric technology into payments experiences for customers. At Visa, we are investing in the best ways to add these emerging technologies to our products and services.”

The biometric technology that Canadian consumers were most familiar with was fingerprint recognition, which 57 per cent of respondents had tried and 25 per cent used regularly. The platform they were least familiar with was vein pattern recognition, which 45 per cent had heard of and only three per cent used regularly.

In addition to gauging Canadians’ knowledge of biometrics, the study illustrated just how much passwords aggravate consumers, and how poorly they follow best practices. Thirty-two per cent, for example, reported abandoning an online purchase because they couldn’t remember their password, and only 31 per cent use a unique password for each of their accounts.

Consequently, nearly half of consumers believed the top benefit of using biometric technology was eliminating the need to remember multiple passwords or PINs (though 44 per cent said the increased security was useful too).

We’ve turned the survey’s key results into an infographic, which you can check out below (click for a larger version), or you can click here for more information about the study.

Courtesy Visa
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