Study uncovers need for digital, privacy-centric identity verification and authentication solutions to improve the customer experience and create user trust
Incode, a pioneer in biometrics technology and a leading business provider of digital identity and authentication solutions, gauged user sentiment toward digital authentication and the use of consumer-facing digital identity apps and services. Incode’s research took the pulse of consumers across the globe, exploring popular conceptions about biometrics, how people engage with digital authentication, and barriers to adoption.
Incode surveyed 1000 consumers ages 25+ in English-speaking countries (across North America, the UK, and Asia Pacific) about the perceived benefits and concerns with digital authentication applications and services including biometrics.
This non-weighted inaugural survey kicks off a year-over-year tracking study, “Consumer Pulse on Biometrics” to get insights on opinions, attitudes, and preferences with digital authentication technologies.
Overall, the findings reveal that while consumers can identify specific benefits of using digital identity verification for payments, self-check-ins, venue entry, and account onboarding, they are not fully committed. The majority of those surveyed (57%) said they are apt to re-engage with brands and companies that offer these digital authentication methods for identification. But when it comes to using their apps and services, there is still a high degree of hesitancy to embrace digital identification and those concerns are based on fraud protections, privacy and security. Consumers expressed distrust that companies will actually protect their individual privacy when using biometrics.
Even as many companies announce plans to shift their consumer-facing apps and services to “passwordless”, consumer adoption of biometrics has not rounded the curve. This underscores the need for solutions that put user privacy first.
Key Research Findings
THE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE
Does Digital Authentication Improve the Customer Experience for Online Payments?
To what extent do you Agree that using digital authentication methods (such as biometrics) to pay for things online increases your customer experience?
- Consumers’ opinion is trending toward Agreement that the customer experience is indeed improving through digital authentication.
- On average, over 20% of all respondents Strongly Agree that digital authentication methods such as biometrics increases the customer experience when it comes to online transactions and payments.
- On average, more than one-quarter (34%) of all respondents Agree that digital authentication methods such as biometrics increases the customer experience when it comes to online transactions and payments.
- On average less than a quarter (20%) of all respondents Disagree that digital authentication methods such as biometrics increase the customer experience when it comes to online transactions and payments.
- Slightly over one-quarter (26%) of all respondents Strongly Disagree that digital authentication methods such as biometrics increase the customer experience when it comes to online transactions and payments.
The above percentages show customer experience is improving when it comes to using biometrics for online payments, with 54% of respondents agreeing or strongly agreeing that digital authentication improves the customer experience for online payments. Consumers are experiencing improvements to their purchasing journey using digital authentication methods to pay for things online. Consumers’ perception about fraud protection and biometrics is where the customer experience needs to improve in order for biometrics to have broad adoption.
Does Digital Authentication Protect You from Online Payments Fraud?
To what extent do you agree that using digital authentication methods to pay for things online better protects you from online fraud than passwords?
- 24% Strongly Agree
- 38% of consumers Agree that using digital authentication methods to pay for things online better protects from online fraud than passwords
- 20% Disagree
- 18% Strongly Disagree
While the majority of respondents (62% combined agree or strongly agree) that using digital authentication methods to pay for things online better protects from online fraud than passwords, 38% are still not convinced. To increase trust in biometrics, the industry must be led by identity solution providers that put consumer trust at the center of their business practices and models, who are driven by the need to power a world of digital trust.
Simplified Logging In
Does Digital Authentication Simplify Log In?
To what extent do you agree that using digital authentication methods to simplify the logging in and onboarding process improves your customer experience?
- 22% Strongly Agree
- 36% of consumers Agree that digital authentication methods simplify the logging in and onboarding process, but the jury is still out on if this improves the customer experience.
- 21% Disagree
- 20% Strongly Disagree
Consumers are seeing their customer experiences improve when using digital authentication for logging in and onboarding. Simplicity and ease of use are catching on, with a combined 58% of respondents either agreeing or strongly agreeing that using digital authentication methods to simplify the logging in and onboarding process improves the customer experience.
BENEFITS OF BIOMETRICS
Main Benefits of Biometrics
In your opinion, what are the main benefits of using digital authentication methods, such as biometrics?
- I don’t have to remember a password (47%)
- It offers a more seamless user experience (21%)
- It is faster than passwords (30%)
- It better protects me from online fraud (21%)
- It increases my online privacy (10%)
- Simplifies log-in and onboarding processes (24%)
- Nearly half of the respondents (47%) indicate that “not having to remember a password” was the top benefit of using digital authentication/biometrics.
- As a benefit, “not having to remember a password” held higher value for consumers than other biometrics benefits including online fraud protection (21%) and increased online privacy (10%).
- The ability to go passwordless also outweighed the other key benefits of biometrics: creating a seamless user experience and simplifying log-in and onboarding processes.
DRIVING CONSUMER ADOPTION
Key Industries for Biometrics
Across which of the following use cases would you like to see digital authentication methods used more?
- Finance (35%)
- Retail & eCommerce (34%)
- Hospitality (31%)
- Travel (30%)
- Sports (21%)
- Gaming (16%)
Despite their concerns, consumers would like to see more uses cases and features for digital authentication and biometrics solutions in key industries. Given the appetite for increased use of digital authentication and biometrics, businesses in key consumer-facing sectors such as banking, retail, travel, hospitality, sports and especially gaming, are in a prime position to build consumer trust.
IMPEDIMENTS TO ADOPTION
What’s Holding Consumers Back from Using Biometrics
What are your main concerns about using digital authentication methods, such as biometrics?
- Privacy Compromise (38%)
- Greater Risk of Fraud (25%)
- Too long to set-up (30%)
- User experience not improved (25%)
While many companies report plans to phase out passwords, they will need to address what consumers see as the benefits of digital identification, as well as the detriments.
For consumers to fully embrace digital authentication technologies that replace passwords, concerns about privacy, fraud, speed, safety and ease of use must be addressed.
TRUST & PRIVACY
Trusting Biometrics in the online world
To what extent do you agree with the following statement: “digital authentication helps to create trust in the online world.”
Not surprisingly, three quarters (74%) of survey respondents would be unlikely to use a service with a poor reputation regarding protecting users’ privacy
- Just over half (52%) of the respondents view digital authentication as helping to engender more trust in the online world.
- On the other hand, (48%) do not. Given the privacy issues and data breaches that compromise online privacy, consumer trust in the online world is not where it should be.
Negative perception about services and products in this category where user privacy had been compromised was seen as creating this distrust. Early iterations of facial recognition technology and the risk of fraud were predominantly the reasons.
Distrust in digital authentication and biometrics is not universal. Today’s consumers are divided on their level of trust in privacy protections in biometrics and digital authentication apps and services. Trust is halfway there. What will it take for consumers to trust?
As technology advances, companies will be able to offer better, safer digital authentication and identification services and products that put trust at the core while delivering excellent user experience, speed, and ease of use. However, consumer perception won’t change overnight. To prove how digital authentication creates trust in the online world, providers in the identity verification and authentication space must prioritize users’ data privacy and security and hold themselves to the highest standards in creating and delivering facial recognition. Advanced technology will enable companies in these sectors to build consumer trust in biometrics and offer more use cases for widespread adoption.
The fact that over half of respondents agreed that digital authentication methods improve the customer experience when it comes to the ease in making payments, protecting them against fraud in their online transactions, simplifying the onboarding, and logging in is encouraging. Consumers see the value. What will it take for them to get over the curve? While many companies report plans to phase out passwords, they will need to address what consumers see as the benefits of digital identification, as well as the detriments.
Embracing Digital Verification
For consumers to fully embrace digital authentication technologies that replace passwords, concerns about privacy, fraud, speed, safety and ease of use must be addressed. The digital landscape keeps evolving and consumers are seeing the benefits but are not fully ready to make the switch. Technology advances are necessary to address privacy and trust concerns. The proliferation of facial recognition technologies that were quick to market without the appropriate privacy checks were a deterrent to consumer adoption and created a huge undercurrent. To regain consumer trust, biometrics app and service providers will have to deploy next-generation, privacy-powered models and the highest industry standards for facial recognition and fraud prevention. Companies need secure, state-of-the-art digital authentication technology that increases consumers’ trust in the online world.