India leads all countries in the adoption of biometric technology: HSBC survey

People in Asia and the Middle East are ahead of the West when it comes to the adoption of new technologies like biometric, a global study from HSBC suggested

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: People in Asia and the Middle East are ahead of the West when it comes to the adoption of new technologies due to greater understanding and optimism leading to more trust, a global study from HSBC suggested.

According to a ’s report ‘Trust in Technology’, trust in technology and its adoption are driven not only by consumer trends, but can be encouraged by wider governmental support. For example, the Indian government first launched the Aadhaar Project, a biometrics programme, in 2009 creating the world’s largest biometric data set.

This is likely to have helped contribute to people in India being three times more likely to have used iris recognition technology to identify themselves versus the global average (9% compared to 3%).

The accelerated adoption of fingerprint recognition in the East, a widespread consumer technology, highlights the contrasting perspectives. People in China (40%) are the highest adopters of fingerprint technology with India (31%) and the UAE (25%) second and third from those countries surveyed.

At the other end of the scale, just 9% of people in France and Germany and 14% of people in Canada have used fingerprint technology to identify themselves.

Country Password (combination of letters, numbers and symbols) Fingerprint recognition
Global 70% 21%
Canada 74% 14%
China 85% 40%
France 62% 9%
Germany 59% 9%
Hong Kong 79% 22%
India 66% 31%
Mexico 63% 19%
Singapore 68% 24%
The    United

Emirates

Arab 63% 25%
UK 76% 19%
USA 73% 19%

Source: The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited

The regular use of traditional technology is most common in the West, with people in France the most attached to passwords and the least likely (37%) to replace it with a more secure fingerprint identification. This is compared to 46% for those in Hong Kong and 56% in China.

 When it comes to money management, people in China (48%) and India (50%) are more likely to agree that computers can already provide more accurate advice than humans, while just 18% in Canada and 21% in the UK agree.

Germany has the lowest adoption of smartphone or tablet banking, with only 4% claiming it’s their preferred way of banking compared to 15% in the UAE and 9% in Hong Kong.

“Consumers living in countries in the East seem to have a better understanding and greater trust of emerging technology and how it can benefit their lives. The speed of change and the insatiable rate of adoption put the likes of India, China and the UAE leaps ahead of most Western markets. In the case of India, a  national mindset of openness coupled with government support for the rollout and promotion of new technology has had a transformative effect on the nation, said Ramakrishnan S, Head of Retail Banking and Wealth Management at HSBC India.

However, while there are clear reasons to be optimistic about the adoption and attitude of countries in the East to new technology, this is not the full story.

Fifty per cent of people in China own a fax and 39 per cent of people in India own a pager, the highest percentages of those countries surveyed. While the East has overtaken the West in attitudes and adoption today, there is a high prevalence of legacy technology in daily use and the data suggest that progress across the region is hugely uneven, with the differences most likely between the rural and urban areas.

HSBC’s new report Trust in Technology includes research among more than 12,000 people in 11 countries and finds trust and adoption of new technology varies enormously across the globe with the East overtaking the West.

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