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A biometric Europe

​​Consumers across Europe have a preference for using biometric authentication ​

First published on April 24, 2017

​According to research by Visa, consumers across Europe are interested in how biometrics can help them make faster and more secure payments. Nearly three-quarters (73%) see two-factor authentication, where a biometric is used in conjunction with a payment device, as a secure way to confirm an account holder.

When looking at the range of different payment situations at home or on the high street, over two-thirds (68%) want to use biometrics as a method of payment authentication. Online retailers have the most opportunity for gain as nearly a third (31%) of people have abandoned a browser-based purchase because of the payment security process.

In addition, with over two-thirds (67%) of consumers recognizing the importance of security details to protect one's identity, new forms of authentication must reach a balance between speed and security.

Key findings

The research found that biometric authentication​ is almost equally valued in face-to-face payment situations where speed efficiencies are a priority as it is for online transactions. This is reflected in the findings:

  • 48% want to use biometric authentication for payments when on public transport
  • 47% want to use biometric authentication when paying at a bar or restaurant
  • 46% want to use it to purchase goods and services on the high street – e.g. groceries, coffee and at fast food outlets
  • 40% want to use it when shopping online
  • 39% want to use it when downloading content.


Factors for uptake

In the study of more than 14,000 European consumers, the research reveals that discretion and familiarity with biometric forms are important factors for uptake. With the advent of mobile payments, fingerprint recognition is deemed to be the most favorable form of biometric payment for its ease of use and security. When looking solely at the perceived security of biometric technologies, 81% of consumers see fingerprints as most secure, followed by iris scanning (76%).

"Biometric identification and verification has created a great deal of excitement in the payments space because it offers an opportunity to streamline and improve the customer experience," says Jonathan Vaux, Executive Director of Innovation Partnerships at Visa.

"Our research shows that biometrics is increasingly recognized as a trusted form of authentication as people become more familiar with using these capabilities on their devices."

Consumer preference for using biometric authentication for payments in the future:

  • Fingerprint scanning – 53%
  • PIN and biometrics – 29%
  • Retinal scanning – 23%
  • Facial recognition – 15%
  • Voice recognition – 12%
  • Behavioral biometrics – 10% 
TAGGED IN payment; security; biometrics