Juniper Research: Apple’s New Facial Recognition Concept Meeting Resistance

September 22, 2017         By: Steven Anderson

Just recently, we talked about how people are still a bit shaky on security when it comes to mobile payments. They’re likely overreacting a bit, but you can’t blame them given that these systems are often connected to people’s savings or at least their credit scores. With Apple’s release of iPhone X, facial recognition might now be a part of the mix. A new study from Juniper Research, however, suggests it may not be a welcome part.

The Juniper Research report—titled “Consumer Attitudes to Mobile Banking & Contactless Payments”—revealed that over 40 percent of iOS users in the US and the UK (each country represented half of the polling pool of 1,000 users) weren’t likely to actually put facial recognition to use.

However, that’s not a repudiation of biometric security, as 74 percent believed themselves likely to use fingerprint sensors. Moreover, 62 percent were likely to use voice recognition, and Apple doesn’t even support voice recognition outside of third-party applications released. Some point out here that Touch ID wasn’t exactly well-received when it first showed up either, so perhaps a little time would be required to get people used to facial recognition.

Mobile payments themselves, meanwhile, are in for a renaissance of sorts; 73 percent of those currently using such services plan to use these more often, while 39 percent of those who aren’t already using mobile payments plan to start doing so fairly soon.

Granted, facial recognition is still something of a new technology. A lot of people likely still remember Google’s early attempts at same a few years back, when an enterprising reporter used a photograph to break a phone’s security. The technology has advanced since then, of course, but for a lot of people it’s likely still just “the security you can beat with a Polaroid.” Fingerprint and voice analysis is more proven technology, and when it comes to protecting your money, you want proven protection.

Facial recognition in mobile payments, therefore, will have to go through that same trial by fire that fingerprint did back when it first rolled out. After a while of successful use, though, it will probably prove the same powerhouse that fingerprints are today.