Biometric authentication has been a fixture of the public imagination for decades through frequent appearances in futuristic popular fiction. In the year 2014, these solutions may finally make the breakthrough from symbols of cutting edge technology which is constantly looming on the horizon to practical, accepted features of robust authentication systems. Several aspects of the consumer technology environment have conspired to facilitate biometrics’ deployment at the same time as providers are working out the kinks which have impeded their effectiveness. Mobile devices place biometric delivery mechanisms at consumers’ fingertips, while 3DSecure provides a platform to implement biometric authentication for online transactions. The major obstacle to the proliferation of biometrics will be consumer trust; fewer than half of consumers trust any business or institution with their sensitive biometric data. However, financial institutions, which face this challenge to a much lesser degree than retailers and other types of institutions, can partner with merchants to pave the way for wide scale acceptance.

Primary Questions:

  • Which form of biometrics technology do consumers prefer?
  • Which features do consumers consider important for biometric authentication?
  • What issues are affecting the adoption of biometrics among financial institutions and merchants?
  • How would the use of biometrics affect consumer online banking frequency?
  • How would the use of biometrics affect consumer e‐commerce shopping frequency?
  • Which biometric solutions are best suited to authenticate consumers during online applications?

Companies Mentioned: 
Apple, Authentec, Authentify, CSID, EyeVerify, Facebanx, Fujitsu, Google, Hitachi, Jumio, LexisNexis, Microsoft, Motorola, RIM, ValidSoft, Victrio, Visa, VoiceVault

  • A random‐sample panel of 3,285 respondents to a July 2013 online survey. 
  • A random‐sample panel of 3,213 respondents to a September 2013 online survey. 
  • A random‐sample panel of 5,249 respondents to an October 2012 online survey.