64 percent of Singaporeans still using passwords, instead of biometrics, to secure electronic devices

Singapore consumers are mostly open to new and innovative banking technologies, however, unfamiliarity and fear of data breach hinder adoption, according to by HSBC’s research titled ‘Trust in Technology’.


Nearly half (47 percent) of the 1,003 Singapore respondents considered fingerprint recognition as the top trusted replacement for their passwords, and 51 percent believe the future of identity recognition will be entirely based on biometric within 10 years.


However, only 24 percent of the respondents said they are currently using fingerprint recognition to secure their electronic devices. Almost two-thirds of them (64 percent) still stick to traditional password and numerical pins (64 percent) to do so. This is despite the fact that 73 percent of them said they are extremely or very concerned about personal data leakage.


The study also found that even though 66 percent of the Singapore consumers use online banking, only 9 percent will use banking apps on their mobile devices to manage their money.


Besides that, less than 1 in 10 (7 percent) Singaporeans said they trust a robo-adviser programmed by humans for advice on a savings account. Interestingly, more than twice as many respondents (21 percent) would trust a remote-controlled robot operated by an experienced surgeon to perform a heart surgery.


“Trust in technology is built over time and is based on hard evidence and experience. Caution is further amplified when money is at stake and Singaporeans have traditionally valued stability and security in banking, although they are open to change,” said Anurag Mathur, Head of Retail Banking and Wealth Management at HSBC Bank Singapore.


“What we have here is a catch-22 because when it comes to banking technology, trust has to be earned and this is solely driven by familiarity with new technology which is low. Similarly, consumers see security of finances as paramount but they are still relying on antiquated security that emerging technology will help overcome,” Mathur explained.


“Banks have a role to play in building our customers’ knowledge and trust [towards new technologies] so that they see the value to their lives in adopting a new payments app or the latest biometric security,” he concluded.