Over half of US customers support the addition of biometric authentication information to credit and debit payment cards, acccording to a study commissioned by online security firm Truste and conducted by market information group TNS.
The study of 1025 US consumers found that 64% would agree to biometric data being added to credit cards, while 62% would like to see the technology added to debit payment cards.
But the survey revealed that consumers don't trust retailers with biometric data, as only 27% of respondents would agree to the information being added to retail store loyalty cards.
Furthermore, fewer than two per cent of respondents say they have used a fingerprint scanning system to pay for purchases at the point of sale, and 32% say that they "do not trust retail stores with this information". Only 23% would like to use a biometric payment system.
Truste says this corresponds to other findings in the survey that 76% of respondents trusted banks "always" or "most of the time" as compared to just 41% of respondents trusting retail stores "always" or "most of the time."
The study also found that the majority of consumers - 82% - support the use of biometric identification on passports. Three quarters of respondents support the addition of biometric data to driver's licences and nearly as many (72.6%) support adding the information to Social Security cards.
David Stark, North America privacy officer at TNS, says the results of the survey suggest that there are still a significant number of people who are apprehensive about the use of biometrics as a form of ID, and that this number is much greater for retail uses.
TNS says the retail sector can build trust in the use of biometrics by promoting privacy through informed choice about the way that consumer information is going to be used.
But the study shows that consumers are unsure as to how effective biometrics are in actually combating identity theft. Although more than two-thirds of respondents (68%) believe that adding biometric identifiers to ID documents will make it much more difficult for thieves to steal their ID, nearly an identical proportion (67%) think that "criminals will find a way around the technology".