Four out of ten iOS users in the US say they are unlikely to use facial recognition as a payment security technology. This suggests that a core use case for the iPhone X’s main security feature may struggle to gain traction amongst consumers.

The figures are contained in a new study by Juniper Research.

Contactless payment users considered fingerprint sensors and voice recognition more appealing authentication methods, with 74% and 62% respectively saying they are likely to use these technologies.

Sluggish Contactless Growth for Mobile-first Markets

The survey asked 500 US and 500 UK smartphone users about mobile banking and contactless payments.

  • Overall the number of contactless payment users grew by only 2% year-on-year in the US, with most deployments coming from smartphone OEMs (original equipment manufacturers).
  • Contactless user numbers in the card-first UK grew by 12%.

The survey shows that while mobile contactless payments usage will grow in both markets, existing users will fuel most of that growth:

  • In the US, 73% of OEM-Pay users (Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Android Pay etc) expect to increase their usage, but only 39% of non-users expect to start using mobile contactless payments.
  • This proportion is even lower in the UK, with only 26% of non-users reporting that they will start to use these services.

Security Still a Big Obstacle for Many

The survey found that, while contactless payment non-users have less concerns overall, 32% have concerns about the security of the transactions, a far higher proportion than users (14%). Mobile banking has a similar pattern, with 30% of non-users concerned about the security of transactions, compared to 10% of users.

“Transaction security is a key barrier for mobile financial services adoption” remarked research author James Moar. “Addressing these concerns will bring many consumers to the point where they will consider using such services.”

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