Survey: Biometric authentication rapidly gaining acceptance among Asian corporates

Biometric and pattern-based authentication are rapidly gaining acceptance among Asian corporates amid rising concern over identity theft and fraudulent activity, new research by East & Partners Asia has found.

Nearly one-third of all large corporates across Asia believe biometric, which uses a consumer’s unique biological traits including finger print, voice, face and iris to verify their identity, is far more secure and expect to use it in the near future – a huge jump up from the 3.2 % who currently use it, according to the survey.

This is in part due to the proliferation of biometric technologies in consumer mobile devices such as fingerprint scanning capability, allowing consumers to grow accustomed to the technology, East & Partners explained.

A further 15.8% prefer a behaviour analytics approach that relies on distinctive patterns derived from user’s keystroke, swipe or mouse movements, survey results reveal. This indicates that Asian corporates have a receptive attitude toward new technologies, especially when it comes to payment authentication methods, said the research firm.

The research is based on direct interviews with 947 chief financial officers (CFOs) and corporate treasurers from the Top 1,000 institutions across ten key markets in Asia including China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand.

Password will a thing of the past

According to the research, passwords are gradually becoming a thing of the past. While two in five CFOs in Asia say they are comfortable with using passwords to secure payments, most do not foresee continued use in the future, signaling a significant shift in security culture, survey results indicate.

A similar trend is evident in approaches using security tokens and one-time access codes, the predominant authentication system used in corporates accounts, but to a lesser extent, said East & Partners, adding that only 38.9 % of corporates in Asia will choose these traditional authentication methods in the near future – down from 52.7% today.

Token and verification code use will remain common, but as new authentication methods emerge, these will take a back seat, said East & Partners. Biometrics and pattern-based authentication will serve as the next layer in multi-factor authentication, supplementing rather than replacing security tokens and one-time access codes, the research firm added.

“For payment service providers, success will hinge on offering a fast, secure and frictionless payment solution without compromising on customer’s personal data,” said East & Partners Analyst, Sangiita Yoong. “The key perhaps lies in grasping a better understanding of the trade-off between convenience, security and privacy needs from a user point of view.”

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