Consumers keen to use fingerprints, selfies to verify payments

Shoppers would rather use biometrics than PIN codes when it comes to paying for things, according to a recent survey by Mastercard.

The payment company’s Impact of Innovation study surveyed 23,000 consumers in 23 countries across Europe, Africa and the Middle East about their attitudes to digital technology. It found that more than 90% of consumers use their smartphone more than any other device and, when asked about new ways to pay, consumers across all regions chose their smartphone as an alternative to the plastic card.

Focusing on the findings in Western Europe (France, Germany, Italy, Sweden and the UK), the percentage of people ready to pay by smartphone is around 40%, and consumers said that they trust biometric authentication such as fingerprint recognition (38%) more than they trust PINs (30%).

“Our study launched during the Mastercard Customer Innovation Forum in Budapest confirms that not only is there a huge appetite for new ways to pay, but consumers overwhelmingly want to use their smartphones. In fact, many are ready to do so right now,” said Ann Cairns, president of international markets at Mastercard. “For decades, plastic cards have been the only reasonable alternative to cash — but consumers are saying loud and clear that they want digital innovations in all areas of life.”

Last week, Mastercard announced the European rollout of its ‘selfie’ payment technology, Identity Check Mobile.

The new mobile payment app for online shopping allows cardholders to verify their identity by using the fingerprint scanner on their smartphone or via facial recognition technology by taking a ‘selfie’ photo.

Following successful trials in the Netherlands, the United States and Canada, the technology is now being introduced across 12 markets in Europe, including the UK, Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain and Sweden.

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