Consumers increasingly deploying biometrics as PINs and passwords continue to fail

The UK is ready to fight fraud with biometrics, according to new research revealed by Nuance on World Password Day.

organizations deploying biometrics

The new research carried out by OnePoll asked 1,000 adults aged 18+ in the UK how they feel about traditional passwords and the potential of new technologies designed to safeguard their data and reduce fraud.

According to the poll, consumer comfort over the use of biometrics – which authenticates individuals by their physical and behavioural characteristics – is growing in the UK, with more than two thirds (64%) saying they feel comfortable using the technology.

The study also reveals that nearly one in three (35%) respondents already rely on biometrics technology – via fingerprint or facial biometrics – to unlock their smartphones many times each day to gain access to their personal content and services. 18-24s are shown to be most prolific in their use of fingerprint biometrics, with nearly half (45%) relying on this to unlock their phones, compared to just 17% of over 55s.

Password frustrations are real

Passwords are still creating challenges for UK consumers. The study found consumers manage an average of 14 online accounts (for example, emails, banking, bills, shopping, entertainment, etc.) each and have to remember around nine different passwords for use across those accounts for access.

Two in five (38%) customers forget their passwords at least once a month, with a quarter (25%) of respondents calling a contact centre around once every three months to reset login credentials following this issue.

“This year’s World Password Day comes at an interesting time in the world of security, as fraudsters continue to evolve their hacking strategies and consumers demand more streamlined access to their accounts. Biometrics takes the onus away from insecure and tedious PINs and passwords and places the emphasis on our unique characteristics – making authentication not only more secure but a lot easier to do” said Brett Beranek, General Manager, Security Business, Nuance Enterprise.

Fraud still hitting consumers hard

More than causing frustration, there is compelling evidence to suggest that traditional passwords are not secure. Nearly one in five (17%) UK citizens have fallen victim to fraud in the last 12 months, losing an average of nearly £1,000 stolen per person.

Nearly three times as many 18-24s (29%) have fallen victim to fraudsters, compared with over 55s (11%). However, those over 55s who were affected by fraud have paid the price, with average losses of over £1,600 for this age group. To make matters worse, fraud claims took over a month on average to be resolved.

Consumers in the UK are quick to act when this happens, with three in five (60%) respondents noting they would likely change service providers if they fell victim to fraudsters through their services – and the loss of bank, online shopping and utility account details were cited as most inconvenient.

That said, one in 10 (11%) victims haven’t changed their security information following fraudulent activity, with around a third (29%) only changing their login details for some other accounts leaving them exposed to further criminal activity.

“Despite reports that fraud costs the UK economy over £100bn per year – and this research revealing the negative impact on millions of British citizens it has caused – there is still work to be done to communicate the benefits of using new technology such as biometrics for security. Nuance Security Suite has prevented over $1bn worth of customers’ money from getting into the wrong hands. With that, we believe deploying biometrics should represent the future of authentication,” Beranek added.

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