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PR pulse: Apple customers not feeling the facial-recognition love

by | Oct 2, 2017 | Public Relations

Apple recently unveiled the use of facial recognition as a security feature in its latest line of iPhones, and although the function has been around for years, the gadget giant’s consumer core doesn’t seem too secure with the idea.

A new survey from tech analytics firm Juniper Research has found that over 40 percent of iOS users in the U.S. consider themselves unlikely to use facial recognition as a payment security technology—suggesting that the iPhone X’s main security feature may struggle to gain traction with consumers.

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

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

Sluggish contactless growth for mobile-first markets

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

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

PR pulse: Apple customers not feeling the facial-recognition love

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

  • In the U.S., 73 percent of OEM-Pay users (Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Android Pay, etc.) expect to increase their usage, but only 39 percent of non-users expect to start using mobile contactless payments.
  • This proportion is even lower in the UK, with only 26 percent 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 percent have concerns about the security of the transactions, a far higher proportion than users (14 percent). Mobile banking has a similar pattern, with 30 percent of non-users concerned about the security of transactions, compared to 10 percent of users.

The full report is available for purchase here.

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Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 12 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richardc@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter

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