Unlikely as it may seem in our modern age of digital innovation and ubiquitous mobile communications, there remains a level of consumer mistrust in new technologies in the banking industry.
That’s according to recent research by HSBC, which suggested that a lack of trust and understanding is holding back adoption of some new services that could have a beneficial impact on the lives of millions of consumers.
The bank surveyed more than 12,000 people in 11 countries. While four out of five respondents (80 percent) agreed that technology makes their lives easier, there was less enthusiasm about certain innovations with the potential to transform how people approach their personal finances.
Less than half (46 percent) of consumers had faith in fingerprint recognition to replace their password, even though this technology is viewed as more convenient and at least five times more secure than traditional passwords.
Seven out of ten customers (70 percent) continue to depend on passwords for authentication, while only 21 percent use fingerprint scanning and just six percent rely on voice recognition, the survey found.
Other findings suggested that people are twice as likely to trust a humanoid robot to carry out heart surgery (14 percent) than to open a savings account (seven percent).
When it comes to the least understood technologies, blockchain – the digital ledger system upon which Bitcoin is based – topped the list, with 80 percent of consumers admitting they didn’t understand it.
John Flint, global chief executive of retail banking and wealth management at HSBC, said: “While people say they place huge value in the security of their personal data, they do not yet understand that adopting new technologies can help them to protect their information. Our research shows many people do not understand new technologies and so are unable to place trust in them.”
Mr Flint stressed that financial institutions have a responsibility to improve customer knowledge and trust to help people get maximum value from the latest innovations, be it a new payments app or biometric security.