A new study from PayPal finds that a majority of Americans are comfortable with the idea of using their biometric information instead of the passwords that are currently the norm.
The survey, sponsored by PayPal and the National Cyber Security Alliance, found that 53 percent of Americans are “comfortable” replacing passwords with fingerprints, 45 percent would opt for a retinal scan, and 41 percent are comfortable with photo identification.
Two-thirds of Americans said that they keep their smartphones no farther than one room away — and 10 percent said they have their smartphones in hand at all times when not showering or sleeping. But nearly as many people, 63 percent, said that they don’t know or are unsure about what kind of financial information they store on their phones.
The survey also found that around 17 percent of Americans said they conduct at least a quarter of their purchases via smartphones in an average week, but the data also show that consumers need convincing about the need for mobile payment options and reassurances that paying by phone is really secure.
In addition, consumers want companies to do the bulk of heavy lifting when it comes to securing financial data. While those surveyed said that they’re comfortable with giving companies access to their biometric data to replace passwords, it turns out not that many of them actually use them for their phones.
More than half, 56 percent, told PayPal that they do not take the simplest step to protect their mobile devices — setting up a PIN number.