Greeks prefer biometric authentication for their purchases

Visa research in Greece, found that there is an increased demand from consumers for biometric payments, as they are now considered a more secure way of transaction compared to traditional methods. 91% believe that fingerprint recognition is the safest method of identification, followed by scanning the iris of the eye.

Convenience also plays an important role in the preference for biometric methods, with 24% of respondents saying they have left an online marketplace because they forgot their password.

Biometrics are set to become even more popular, taking into account the requirements of the Payment Services Directive 2 (PSD2) regarding Strong Customer Identification (SCA). Powerful Customer Identification (SCA), under PSD2, was designed by the European Banking Authority (EBA) and affects anyone making, receiving or servicing online payments across Europe. It entered into force in September 2019, while in relation to e-commerce payments SCA will enter into force in Europe from 31 December 2020.

SCA aims to reduce fraud by adding additional levels of security to online and contactless payments. Requires banks to carry out additional checks to establish the identity of the cardholder making a payment. Specifically, it requires two ways of verification by the consumer.

Using biometrics - such as fingerprints, voice or face recognition - is a quick, secure and easy way to confirm a payment. This is because biometric authentication - verifying who the consumer is, through a registered and connected device - meets two of the required factors, responding quickly and easily to SCA requirements.

Businesses, on the other hand, should ask their providers to "enable" a technology called 3D Secure (preferably, if available, the latest version - EMV 3D Secure). This technology checks payments as they are made to assess whether they are unsecured and, if necessary, allows the customer's bank to request identification.

The research revealed that cardholders do not always remember their passwords when shopping online. In addition, it highlighted potential security risks, such as data theft, identity theft and malware: 17% of Greeks who shop online use the same password for all their accounts and only 25% have a unique password for each account. This fact can make the consumer vulnerable to multiple attacks, in case a hacker tries to find out his password.

While temporary passwords are a possible solution to overcome the need to remember multiple passwords, 52% of Greek consumers are still worried that they may be "locked out" of their account - after many failed attempts to complete a purchase . In contrast, the use of biometrics is considered faster (72%) and easier (77%) than the use of a password. Despite being a recent method of authentication, many people in Greece have already used a biometric method, with 64% having used fingerprint recognition in the past.

In view of the introduction of the Strong Customer Identification Directive (SCA) in Greece, the Visa survey reveals the need to use biometric methods, with 44% of cardholders pointing out as an advantage that they no longer need to remember many passwords and 33% that biometrics are impossible to forget or lose.

According to Adriana Pappas, Head of Visa for Greece: “Internet businesses should be fully compliant with PSD2 by December 2020, so it is important to start the transition early to avoid any disturbance in their operation. "Merchants who are not sure they are ready should contact the payment service provider they work with to make sure they are fully compliant and that their business is not affected."

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