Our survey says… biometrics are the future

October 21, 2021

Okta and Onfido recently surveyed 5,000 customers across the US, UK, France, Germany and the Netherlands to see how they feel about online services and the way businesses manage their digital identity.

One thing we found was that biometrics are increasingly meeting customers’ expectations. Why?


  1. Biometrics are a familiar technology - customers are becoming more familiar and used to biometrics.

  2. Customers like using biometrics - they meet customer expectations of  convenience and security.

  3. Biometrics have several use cases - customers are open to using them instead of a variety of other authentication methods.

Today’s digital customers are choosing biometrics 

57% of customers report that their use of biometrics has increased over the last 12 months. The pandemic forced us all to move online, and over that period there was significant uptake in the adoption of digital services.

As a result, consumers have become more accustomed to accessing online services, with one in two customers feeling more comfortable than they did before the pandemic. 

As customers and businesses alike are moving online, they are naturally shifting to convenient, scalable methods of verification.

Today, 1 in 3 customers use biometrics (fingerprint or face) daily on their smartphone to access services. And more than 1 in 2 use them at least weekly. Clearly, when offered as an option, customers are making use of biometric technology as a way to verify their identity.

For more insights into how customers are using biometrics and what they think of them, read the full Digital by Default report.

8 in 10 customers find biometrics convenient AND secure

The rapid shift towards digital services has created a competitive customer battleground. And businesses are focusing on creating trust in new and improved online offerings. 

Customers want to access services fast. Verification is often just a means to an end, a necessary step customers must complete before they can access the services they want. So the verification process shouldn’t get in the way. It should be easy and streamlined, to prevent frustration. Slow, clunky processes often result in customer drop-off.

But at the same time, customers value security. They want to know that businesses aren’t going to misuse their data. Data breaches mean large amounts of personal information is available to buy on the dark web. And passwords and one-time SMS codes are vulnerable to hacking. 

And on top of this, businesses are contending with heightened levels of fraud. Over the last year, fraud has increased 41%. So businesses need to explore new digital verification methods that not only reduce friction for consumers, but also protect their data, while offering a robust defense against fraud. 

Biometrics are unique in that they meet customer expectations across this spectrum.

  • 8 out of 10 customers find biometrics convenient.

  • 8 out of 10 customers find biometrics secure.

Biometrics are replacing outdated methods of authentication

Because biometrics meet customer expectations across both convenience and security, many customers want to use them as alternatives to other methods of authentication.

Businesses that rely on outdated methods of authentication are falling short. 7 in 10 customers report they’ve been blocked from accessing vital services in the last 12 months due to a lack of efficient digital processes.

But biometric authentication offers a viable alternative. One that customers like, and which eases those sensitive moments of re-authentication that customers face after being blocked from an account or service.

  • 70% would be open to biometrics as opposed to using a password to log in

  • 59% would be open to biometrics as opposed to ringing a call center and answering security questions

Why is biometric technology so effective?

Onfido’s AI-based technology assesses whether a user’s government-issued ID is genuine or fraudulent, and then compares it against their facial biometrics. 

By analysing a user’s biometric, you add an extra layer of assurance that a customer really is who they say they are. For example, let’s say you’ve verified an identity document. You need Onfido’s biometric technology to verify that the document truly belongs to the person making the transaction. So biometrics adds a layer of protection against stolen IDs and impersonation attacks.

And it’s simple for your users. All they need to do is take a selfie or a short video. Using advanced facial analysis, Onfido then compares their facial biometrics to the photo on the ID, and generates a score based on the similarity of the faces. If your user then needs to re-authenticate, for example if they’ve been locked out of an account or are making a high risk transaction, they simply take another selfie. Onfido then compares this to their original identity document.

Thanks to new improvements to our biometric technology customers will benefit from even greater protection against fraud. Onfido were recently successfully tested against the iBeta L1 standard for our Selfie Liveness models.

We now provide much better protection against a range of 2D fraud vectors. These include: photo of a photo in a document, in printed photo or in a digital screen, 2D Masks and a video played on a digital screen. 

Interested in hearing more? Find out more about Onfido’s products work.

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