Most consumers are ready to move on beyond passwords when accessing financial services, and over a third would be willing to try using biometrics, according to survey data collected by PYMNTS and Entersekt.
The organizations have published a report, The Future of Authentication in Financial Services, based on a survey of 2,719 consumers conducted between September 10 and September 27, 2021. Six in 10 of the respondents said that when accessing digital financial services, they would be willing to try login methods other than passwords, and that sentiment was even stronger among those who access such services across multiple devices, with 73% indicating a willingness to use password alternatives.
Asked how reluctant they would be to using a fingerprint scan for authentication in private settings, about half (49 percent) of the respondents said either “not at all” or only “slightly”. In public settings, that number dipped to 47 percent.
Respondents were a little more apprehensive about facial recognition, with 44 percent saying they were “slightly” or “not at all” reluctant to login with a face scan in private, and 41 percent responding that way with respect to public settings. That face-scanning appears to be less popular than fingerprint recognition will come as a surprise to many who have observed the ongoing boom in selfie-based onboarding over the last few years, but it may simply be a product of widespread familiarity with fingerprint scanning, which has been used across more consumer devices for a longer time than face-based authentication.
Unsurprisingly, fewer respondents were comfortable using voice biometrics in public – just 37 percent said they were “slightly” or “not at all” reluctant to do so, but that number rose to 43 percent in private settings.
Enthusiasm (or lack thereof) about biometric modalities aside, a majority of survey respondents indicated it’s important to them that a financial services provider takes their data security seriously. Sixty percent said that being informed about how their transactions are secured has an “extremely” or “very” large impact on their trust in financial services providers, and 44 percent said that having access to a passwordless login option is “very” or “extremely” influential in their trust level. That suggests financial services providers must consider newer approaches to authentication if they want to be competitive in customer acquisition and retention.