Report: Youngest Consumers Choose Biometrics over Passwords

Feb. 9, 2015

Report: Youngest Consumers Choose Biometrics over Passwords The youngest generation of consumers are most ready to ditch passwords for biometric security measures, according to a new report from Visa Europe. For a generation of young people that shares more information online and with others than ever before—and are more likely than older groups to secure their personal data with a single PIN or password—this is probably a welcome attitude, the company said. Seventy-six percent of 16-to-24 year olds (which Visa Europe defined as “Generation Z,” but which has considerable overlap with millennials) reported they would feel comfortable using biometric security, according to the report.

Survey respondents were asked to rate their confidence in different security measures on a scale of 1 to 10. On average, the confidence 16-to-24 year olds have in biometrics scored 7.36 compared to 5.57 for non-biometric options. The lowest score for non-biometric measures was the signature at 4.68, while passwords scored 6.01. Fingerprint (7.94) and retina scan (7.82) scored well, but the gold standard for security, according to this cohort, was DNA at 8.11.

“We have more logins and passwords than ever to help keep us secure online and on the high street, but for Gen Z it just feels like an unnecessary burden,” said Jonathan Vaux, executive director at Visa Europe. “Biometric authentication using fingerprint recognition or retinal scans offers an ideal solution, combining unique security and ease of use. As products come online with these features integrated, we expect to see multiple passwords as the industry standard begin to decline.”