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Consumers favour iris scans or palm prints as future payment methods: report

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Almost half of UK shoppers would like to pay for purchases in the future using fingerprint, palm and iris scanners, a new report suggests.

Research from WorldPay, published today, found that 49% of people backed biometric payments, well ahead of the 30% who wanted to use PIN-based smartphone payments, the 25% who would opt for online wallets and the 23% interested in payment by SMS text message. Only 12% said they’d like to pay through social media.

The report, Optimising Your Omni-Payments: consumers, payments and the future, aimed to assess public attitudes towards emerging payment technologies and had a particular focus on smartphones.

It found that 20% had already made a payment using their smartphones, but that more than twice as many (45%) were using their devices for so-called showrooming: in-store browsing ahead of making an online purchase. Some 45% used their smartphone to make purchases while 28% commented on their experience using social media, and 28% downloaded vouchers and coupons.

“Retailers can help drive mass adoption of new payment technologies by challenging existing shopping behaviours and most importantly, making a compelling case for new payment methods that consumers will understand and buy into,” said Ron Kalifa, deputy chairman at WorldPay.

“It’s interesting to see the public considering options such as biometric payments, a science that they may have seen in sci-fi films or on TV, which suggests familiarity and visibility of new payment technologies is crucial in moving usage from tech-savvy enthusiasts to the wider public.

“Our research showed that three in four of us shop on auto pilot, using cash, card and by paying online, so the industry needs to take greater steps to challenge these vehaviours.”

He also said that more support was needed for retailers and their staff as they implement new technologies.

The full report will soon be available on

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