Europeans willing to switch banks for biometric authentication

Europeans willing to switch banks for biometric authentication

Over half of banking customers across Europe would be willing to switch their accounts to financial institutions that offer biometric authentication services, according to a study conducted by Vanson Bourne and commissioned by LogicaCMG

The study, which spans seven European countries, shows that 57% of people would be more likely to change their current account provider if all it took was an identity card and fingerprint to establish and prove identity.

In Germany this average increases to 64%, almost two thirds of the population, says LogicaCMG.

The research found that over a quarter of Europeans - 27% - would be more likely to change insurance providers, and 25% would switch savings account providers to an institution that provided biometric authentication, while just over one in five (21%) Europeans would be more likely to start a pension and 17% would be more likely to switch mortgage providers.

LogicaCMG says the research reveals that the introduction of biometrics could lead to much greater consumer confidence in switching between different bank accounts and other financial products.

Although the financial services industry has made huge advances in fraud prevention - such as the introduction of chip and PIN - fear of fraud means that consumers are still not entirely comfortable with security measures implemented banks.

Commenting on the research, Paul Gribbon, consultant in LogicaCMG's electronic identity practice, says as banks have to proliferate across channels such as digital television, the Internet, telephone banking systems and physical branches, biometrics will be a key method in establishing and verifying the identity of customers.

"If people are so much more likely to switch accounts when biometrics hit the high street, then banks need to prepare for this," says Gribbon. "Early adopters will be able to offer a "fast-switch" service, increasing market share at the expense of competitors and controlling and focusing churn to their advantage."

He adds: "This is a clear indication that biometric authentication in the hands of the customer - which can range from voice recognition to an iris scan - will lead to a quiet revolution in the retail financial services market across Europe."

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