No passwords for ‘Generation Z’

Visa Europe’€™s research shows that 16 to 24-year-olds are ready for biometric security to replace traditional authentication

Visa Europe have conducted research that demonstrates that Generation Z are ready for biometric security to replace traditional authentication, such as passwords and PIN numbers.

Generation Z, (16 to 24 year old consumers in the UK), have been found to be most in favour of biometric security measures. Research from Visa Europe suggests this generation’s approach to existing security options is placing them at greater risk of data or financial compromise. 

The research reveals that this age group are more likely than older age groups to use only a single PIN number (32%) or password (14%) when protecting their personal data. In addition, this generation is more liberal in sharing their security information than older generations.

The research shows that 34% have shared their debit or credit card PIN number with someone, versus 23% of all respondents. 32% have shared their smartphone password, versus 10% of all respondents, and 22% have shared their internet banking password, versus 7% of all respondents.

Generation Z are more likely to find existing security measures an irritating step when paying for something (64%, versus 59% of all respondents). More than half believes that passwords and PIN codes will no longer be necessary by the end of the decade.   

In their place, this age group are keen to see biometric security, such as facial recognition, fingerprint scanning and retina scans become available to replace them. 76% of Generation Z would feel comfortable making a payment using biometric security, and 69% believe this will make their lives faster and easier. They also believe that, overall, biometrics are more secure than non-biometric identification methods. When asked to rate biometric forms of authentication on a scale of one to 10, with one being the least secure and 10 being the most secure, they awarded biometrics a seven on average, and non-biometrics a six.

Of the new payment methods available to consumers, fingerprint scanning was the most popular. Nearly 70% of 16 to 24 year olds say they want to use fingerprint scanning rather than passwords by 2020. Other methods that interest this generation are retina scans (39%) and facial recognition (27%), though voice recognition (12%), fast DNA samples (15%) and implanted chips (16%) were less popular.

Jonathan Vaux, executive director at Visa Europe, said: “We have more logins and passwords than ever to help keep us secure online and on the high street, but for Gen Z it just feels like an unnecessary burden. Biometric authentication using fingerprint recognition or retinal scans offers an ideal solution, combining unique security and ease of use. As products come online with these features integrated, we expect to see multiple passwords as the industry standard begin to decline.

“For banks and product providers this means two challenges. Firstly, to continue and quicken the pace of development on biometrics to answer this demand from Generation Z. Secondly, to continue to evaluate the increasing range of authentication options to ensure customer convenience and security as payment increasingly becomes embedded into a range of applications.” 

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