More than half of UK consumers are ready to pay for items using biometric payment cards, according to research by digital security provider Gemalto.

Biometric payment cards are integrated with fingerprint readers, which authorise a payment with the touch of a finger or thumb on a sensor located on the banking card.

Replacing traditional security with the consumer’s unique fingerprint means that there is no danger of a pin or password being forgotten or stolen.

In fact, 86% of respondents believe biometric payment cards are more secure than traditional chip and pin and a further 82% believe they will provide greater convenience.

Responding to the findings, Howard Berg, SVP banking and payment at Gemalto said: “We are delighted to see that the British public is ready to embrace this new generation of biometric payment cards.

“Banks are showing great enthusiasm with ongoing trials and we look forward to launching biometric cards in the UK in the near future.”

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Biometric payment cards: A growing trend

The research echoes recent findings by GlobalData, which found that biometrics are set to replace pin codes and passwords in banking by as soon as 2019, with 67% of people happy to use biometrics when making payments.

However, 79% of Gemalto respondents would prefer to use biometric payments with a trusted bank.

Visa is currently working on a system to help banks incorporate biometrics into the payment process, while Mastercard has set an April 2019 deadline for widespread use of biometrics for those using its services.

Visa’s senior vice president of open banking Mark Nelson told Raconteur that moving to biometric payments “requires baby steps to ensure consumer confidence doesn’t erode.”

Although the accuracy of fingerprint scanning technology has vastly improved in recent years – becoming the preferred security choice for many mobile devices – less than half (41%) of consumers worry that their fingerprint won’t register every time.

But that did not stop 82% of Gemalto respondents saying that they would use biometric payment cards as their preferred payment option once they are established in the market.

There are also wider concerns about giving retailers even more personal information – in this case information that is extremely personal.

Installing biometric payment systems could also prove expensive from a retailer’s perspective.