How ready are UK consumers for facial recognition technology in retail?

The rapid rise of the internet has made shopping much more convenient and easier for consumers. In turn, retail shops have suffered from lower footfall and sales –...

The rapid rise of the internet has made shopping much more convenient and easier for consumers. In turn, retail shops have suffered from lower footfall and sales – leading to the closure of many small as well as big high street brands. To entice people to come into stores, retailers have had to take drastic actions. One of the biggest decisions has been to integrate technology within stores to make the buying experience more interactive and easier.  An innovative measure taken by some brands has been to introduce facial recognition payments. Which is essentially a biometric system which captures the geometry of an individual’s face to verify and authenticate a payment from them.

OnBuy.com analysed the latest findings from Mindshare, who surveyed 5,000 Brits to discover how comfortable they would be using facial recognition technology in a range of situations. OnBuy.com found that Brits are most comfortable using facial recognition technology to unlock their phones (50%). 

Thereafter, 47% are happy to utilise facial recognition software as a substitute for a boarding pass on flights. Interestingly, 42% like the idea of using facial recognition technology to log into websites/apps. Whilst 33% don’t mind going through a facial recognition process to enter their home/car. Currently, only 32% feel relaxed and willing to use facial recognition to pay for goods and services.  On the other end, Brits are least comfortable about using facial recognition on others (17%) and likewise, other people using facial recognition on them (17%). 

Which product categories are Brits most open to using facial recognition payment? 
Household Products69%
Groceries and Food64%
Beauty and Toiletries61%
Clothing and Shoes55%
Electronics 48%
Health and Pharmacy 42%
Appliances37%
Holiday/Travel30%

Additionally, OnBuy.com surveyed 544 Brits to find out which products categories Brits would be most open to paying for via facial recognition. From this, OnBuy found that Brits are most open to purchasing household products (69%) through facial recognition. Subsequently, 64% would use facial technology to buy groceries and food. Whilst 61% will do the same for beauty and toiletry items.

Contrastingly, Brits are least open to using facial payments when making holiday/travel transactions (30%). Overall, from the those surveyed, 65% feel they better need to understand facial recognition technology to be more confident and willing to use it as a form of payment. 

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