Brits not too keen on facial recognition for payments, survey finds

64% of Brits recently polled would use the technology to buy groceries and food, 61% will do the same for beauty and toiletry items – but only 30% would do the same for beauty and toiletry items, it seems

Posted 29 January 2020 by

As it stands, the average UK consumers says they might be OK with using facial recognition to get into their car or house – but no way are you going to get them to use it to buy a holiday.

The warning comes from an online marketplace called OnBuy.com, which says it worked with data from global media agency Mindshare, which had surveyed 5,000 UK residents to discover how comfortable they would be using facial recognition technology in a range of situations. And some very interesting conclusions they come to indeed.

Image Credit: Artem Oleshko/Shutterstock

What the pair found, for example, is that only 32% feel relaxed enough to use facial recognition to pay for goods and services, and only 17% said they would be comfortable about facial recognition being used on them. They also report that:

  • British people are most comfortable using facial recognition technology to unlock their phones (50%) 
  • 47% are happy to use facial recognition software as a substitute for a boarding pass on flights 
  • And a surprisingly high 42% like the idea of using facial recognition technology to log into websites or apps, and 33% would at least contemplate going through a facial recognition process to enter their home/car.

OnBuy.com then went and asked a further 544 people which products categories they would be most open to paying for via facial recognition. 

Respondents (69%) said they are most open to purchasing household products through facial recognition, while 64% would use facial technology to buy groceries and food and 61% will do the same for beauty and toiletry items.

But, presumably because they seem them as higher ticket items, only 30% would be open to using facial payments when making holiday/travel transactions (30%).  

Overall, concludes the company, 65% feel they better need to understand facial recognition technology to be more confident and willing to use it as a form of payment.