Shoppers keen on in-store biometrics

UK consumers are interested in being able to authorise in-store payments with biometrics, according to a new report from Worldpay.

The payment company surveyed more than 2,500 consumers across the UK for the research, which revealed that just under two thirds (63%) of consumers want to be able to use a biometric scan to authorise payments for goods and services in-store.

A fingerprint scan is the most popular method, with 69% of consumers saying they would be willing to use a finger to confirm a payment.  However, respondents are also beginning to come around to the idea of using their face (24%), iris (33%) and voice (18%) to identify themselves at the point of sale, Worldpay found.

Worldpay’s UK Chief Marketing Officer, James Frost, said: “Today’s digitally-driven consumers want the way they shop to be consistent across every channel, including how they identify themselves when making a payment. As biometric identification increasingly becomes a standard across smartphone devices, the combination of these two technologies is starting to win the battle for hearts and minds when it comes to simplicity, convenience and seamlessness across all channels.”

The research also highlighted how consumers increasingly expect the same type of experience in-store as they receive from online retailers. For example:

  • Consumers say they want stores to offer options like click and collect in-store, but 76% will abandon a purchase if the store tries to charge extra for click and collect.
  • Older consumers like to pay a person, but younger consumers would prefer to have automated payments to speed things up.
  • Consumers are receptive to targeted offers on their mobile phone while they’re browsing in store – but one message is enough.
  • Technologies like mobile point of sale devices, which allow sales staff to take payments directly on the shop floor from a tablet device, are popular among consumers. But so far, only a third (31%) of those surveyed have seen these devices being used in-store.

James Frost added: “Today’s consumers are arguably more demanding of retailers than at any time in the past. As technology continues to evolve, the pressure on retailers to deliver a consistent, personalised and convenient experience across every channel, will only increase. Stores need to find a way to reconnect with consumers. That means deploying technologies which remove bottle-necks, particularly at the point of sale, and freeing staff to get out from behind the till and talk to customers on the shop floor. Retailers that will flourish will be those that strike a balance between personalised service, and seamless convenience.”

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