Less than a decade ago, consumers still feared biometric applications as clandestine extensions of government and law enforcement. Business initiatives relying on biometric applications once failed across market sectors, but that trend seems to be changing as younger consumer generations are now surrounded by smartphones and wearables. Consumer biometric acceptance and adoption by consumers seems to be changing as more companies use biometrics to identify and authenticate users. In this 2-part report, the UT Center for Identity examines several questions related to the adoption of biometric authentication across the consumer and business landscape, and provides an overview of the current applications and trends for biometric authentication technology.
While biometric authentication was limited to mostly government and law enforcement in the beginning of this century, the last five years have seen a rapid increase, not only in adoption, but also in the range of mar-ket sectors and targeted consumer activities. From the trends identified in this study, we expect adoption of biometric technologies to continue to accelerate and expand across all user domains and market sectors, with financial services, retail, telecommunications, and healthcare leading the charge.
Current Biometric Adoption and Trends - Key Highlights
- Biometric authentication technology is rapidly growing in its use and adoption across a wide swath of government agencies and market sectors, including transportation, financial services, personal computing
- Despite the enormous growth of biometric authentication technology, very little research has been published that looks at the scope and type of different applications in the marketplace
- Information technology, finance, and government show the most increase in biometric authentication, with retail and software services close behind.
- The financial sector has seen an explosion in biometric use, with fingerprint scanners, voice recognition, iris scanners and even heartbeat monitors used by customers to access accounts and make purchases.
- The last five years have seen a rapid increase, not only in adoption, but also in the range of market sectors and targeted consumer activities. Adoption of biometric technologies should continue to accelerate and expand across all user domains and market sectors.
Consumer Attitudes about Biometric Authentication - Key Highlights
- Less than a decade ago, consumers largely viewed biometric applications as clandestine extensions of government and law enforcement. Business initiatives relying on biometric applications once failed across market sectors, for a variety of reasons, but that trend appears to be changing as younger consumer generations are now surrounded by smartphones, selfies, mobile payments, and wearables.
- More than 42% of participants use biometrics for unlocking their personal devices, usually fingerprint recognition. The most popular account use for biometrics is financial services, with 17% using them to access personal banking, and 5% to manage investments online.
- Of all biometric types included in the survey, participants were most comfortable giving their fingerprint in biometric form, with 58% saying they were very comfortable, and 28% saying they were somewhat comfortable
- 42% of participants say they are very concerned about the misuse of their personal information, and 44% are somewhat concerned.