51% of Online Buyers Used Biometrics Instead of Passwords

The convenience and security biometric authentication offers continue to gain prominence. Digital-first consumers increasingly use mobile devices to shop for everything from groceries to retail products to travel and entertainment services.

80%: Share of biometric authentication users who say they utilize biometrics to make purchases via their mobile devicesBiometrics enable consumers to easily authenticate their identity when using mobile devices to pay for products and services. More than 80% of consumers using biometric authentication say they use the technologies to purchase via mobile devices.

Tracking the Digital Payments Takeover: Biometric Authentication in the Age of Mobile,” a PYMNTS Intelligence and AWS collaboration, examines consumers’ increasing reliance on biometric authentication when using mobile devices to shop online. We surveyed a census-balanced panel of 3,278 U.S. consumers between July 20 and July 25. The survey aimed to discover what consumers expect from biometrics and what drives them to use the technology.

Facial recognition and fingerprint scans are the most widely used biometric methods when purchasing on mobile devices.

28%: Share of consumers for whom either fingerprint scans or facial recognition are their preferred authentication methodAlthough spy movies and futuristic sci-fi depict eye scans and voice matching, facial recognition and fingerprint scans are the most used in the real world. Among online shoppers, 60% of fingerprint scan users use this method to validate purchases more than once a week. Fifty-eight percent of facial recognition users use the method more than once a week.

Younger generations use biometrics for convenience, while older consumers use them to enhance security.

Biometric authentication, especially when replacing traditional username and password authentication, has many benefits. These include increased security and fraud protection, convenience and faster checkouts. Baby boomers and seniors are most likely to cite security as a driver for using it. Generation Z consumers are significantly more inclined to value biometric authentication because it facilitates a seamless checkout experience.

29%: Portion of Gen Z consumers who use biometrics because it speeds up the checkout process

At least half of consumers are interested in biometrics, and merchants could persuade them to use the technology.

Convincing consumers who are not interested in using biometrics to use them could prove difficult. We found that 33% of uninterested consumers would use biometrics if the merchant offered rewards or discounts for doing so. At the same time, 69% of nonusers who are interested in using biometrics say the same. Among interested nonusers, 57% are open to trying biometric authentication if the methods were available across multiple devices. Fifty percent would do so if they had more control over how often merchants require authentication.

With consumers increasingly using mobile devices to shop online, biometric authentication provides a highly secure and convenient way to validate transactions. Download the report to learn how consumers use biometrics when shopping online.