New Zealanders want fingerprint sensors on smartwatches
18 July 2017 15:55 GMT

A personal data survey on consumers in New Zealand has found that fingerprint sensors on smartwatches could help resolve security fears around paying with wearables.

The Unisys Security Index is a global study that gauges the attitudes of consumers on a wide range of security issues. The 2017 study examined how willing New Zealanders are to share data with organisations via data analytics and IoT - where devices can send information to other devices or systems via the Internet. The study polled 1,012 adults in New Zealand during April 2017.

The survey found that respondents were concerned about the safety of paying with wearables.

Richard Parker, vice president financial services, Unisys Asia Pacific says: "To address consumer concern around data security of smartwatch payment channels, banks need a multi-pronged approach that spans technology and policies to secure the data, as well as reassuring customers by communicating the steps taken by the bank to protect them - a fine line in delivering a frictionless customer experience whilst making sure they are secure."

The survey results showed that respondents believed fingerprint scans on smartwatches could address security concerns around payment apps.

"Approximately half of Kiwis (51 percent) support a fingerprint scan to control access to data on a smartwatch or to authorise a payment from the smartwatch (47 percent), with support increasing with age. This is a clear signal to banks that biometrics could help alleviate consumer concerns about smartwatch payment channels," says Mr Parker.

While 49 percent of New Zealanders support airline staff wearing facial recognition glasses to verify the identity of passengers boarding aircraft at airports, only 24 percent support the same glasses being used to identify VIP customers for special treatment.

John Kendall explains: "Kiwis see it as a trade-off: ‘Is there a compelling enough reason for that organisation to capture this information about me?’ The findings reveal law enforcement, national security and serious medical conditions are considered acceptable justification, but customer loyalty programs and employee tracking are not - the impact on privacy outweighs the personal benefit."