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January 10, 2018

Canadians ready to give up passwords: Visa

By Douglas Blakey

Canadian consumers will embrace the use of biometrics as faster, easier and more secure alternatives to passwords, according to a report released by Visa Canada.

According to the survey, new forms of biometric authentication such as fingerprint, facial, and voice recognition, can make unlocking accounts and payments much easier and more convenient than traditional passwords or PINs – which are difficult to type onto tiny keyboards, easy to forget, and can be stolen.

“Advances in mobile device technology is increasing the speed and accuracy of biometrics, such that they can be used for financial transactions,” says Gord Jamieson, Head of Risk Services, Visa Canada.

“This makes it the ideal time to integrate biometric technology into payments experiences for customers.  At Visa, we are investing in the best ways to add these emerging technologies to our products and services.”

Authentication Survey Findings

According to the Visa study conducted by AYTM Market Research, 85% of Canadian consumers are interested in using biometrics to verify identity or to make payments, and six-out-of-10 (59%) of consumers are already familiar with biometrics. Findings from the survey illustrate consumers’ desire to see the implementation of biometric tools in payment authentication processes.

Highlights from the survey include:

  • Canadian consumers were most familiar with fingerprint recognition, with 57% having tried fingerprint recognition, and 25% using it regularly. By comparison, 39% have tried voice recognition in the past and only 10% use it regularly;
  • 65% of respondents find biometrics easier than passwords and 57% consider it faster. Fewer than a third of consumers (31%) use a unique password for each of their accounts;
  • A third of Canadians (32%) have abandoned an online purchase because they couldn’t remember their password;
  • 95% of consumers responded that the top benefit of using biometrics is eliminating the need to remember multiple passwords or PINs, followed by 44% who said that biometrics is more secure than passwords or PINs for verifying identity, and
  • 44% of consumers are concerned both about the risk of a security breach of sensitive biometric information and 43% are concerned that biometric authentication won’t work well/will take multiple tries.

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