RETAIL BANKING | Tim Charlton, Singapore

9 in 10 Singaporeans want to use fingerprint and facial recognition in banks

Only 1 in 5 are currently using the technology in banking services.

Currently, one in five Singaporeans use fingerprint authentication or facial recognition from their respective banks or mobile phone providers, Visa revealed in a study. For those who have not used biometric authentication, 91% stated that they would be likely to use fingerprint or facial recognition authentication from their banks in future.

More than half (55%) of the respondents agree that the use of biometrics eliminates the need to remember and key in multiple passwords, and PINs, for their respective accounts. Meanwhile, 41% said that biometric authentication is more secure compared to passwords and PINs as they can better confirm individual identities.

According to its survey Biometrics in Payments: Singapore, Singaporeans believe fingerprint recognition is the most desired biometric authentication, followed by eye scanning and facial recognition for both online payment and in-store purchases. “For online payment authentication, Singaporeans are keen to use it for large purchases (more than $100) and small purchases (under $100), and transfer of funds to family. The preference is similar for in-store purchases, including using biometric authentication to pay for a meal at the bar or restaurant and buy tickets for transportation,” the firm said.

The launch of products like the iPhone X has also intensified the adoption of facial recognition technology. OCBC Bank has in-app technology OCBC OneLook, a facial ID technology, and OCBC OneTouch, a touch ID technology, for its customers with consumer and mobile banking applications.

Meanwhile, about 96% of Singaporeans are interested in using biometric methods to make payments instead of just using traditional passwords.

About 88% have already used at least one form of biometric authentication including fingerprint recognition, 56% used facial recognition, 50% used iris scanning, whilst 49% used voice recognition. Amongst the range of biometric solutions, consumers were most familiar with fingerprint recognition (51%).

Mandy Lamb, group country manager, regional Southeast Asia for Visa, noted that Singaporeans are early adopters of technology and many of them already have experience with biometrics authentication. “With the proliferation of biometric authentication solutions used by mobile providers and banks, Singaporeans recognise the value these new technologies bring to their everyday lives. As the country continues its Smart Nation journey, we believe more people will start to adopt biometric authentication,” she said.  

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