Banks have topped a list of the institutions and organisations consumers would trust to offer biometrics authentication as a service to confirm their identity.

When asked who they would trust as part of the latest Visa Biometric Payments study, the largest percentage of consumers selected banks (85%), followed by payment networks (81%) and global online brands (70%). Smartphone companies were chosen by 64% of respondents, while government agencies were picked by 33% of those surveyed.

Visa said this level of trust has grown significantly in the past two years, up by 20 percentage points from 65% in 2014, when its biometric payments research was first conducted. Since that time there have been multiple advancements in

Kevin Jenkins, UK & Ireland managing director at Visa, said: "From trialling voice recognition to behavioural biometrics for authentication, we're already seeing banks – both high street and challenger banks, alike – making positive steps to adopt this technology in a variety of use cases.

"This consumer confidence in both authentication as well as the storage of their biometric data gives banks the perfect win-win scenario, enabling them to provide a service that the public wants which will also benefit the banks, themselves."

Visa commissioned Populus to undertake a study covering the UK, Sweden, Spain, France, Germany, Italy and Poland. The total sample size was 14,236 with around 2,000 respondents per country answering questions between 22 April and 6 May 2016.

According to the research, 64% of consumers want to use biometrics as a method of payment authentication. In addition, it said the growth in fingerprint authentication for mobile payments – offered by the likes of Apple Pay for transactions and Nationwide Building Society for access to its app – and is bringing to life the benefits of biometric authentication. This is resulting in 80% of respondents saying they were the most comfortable with fingerprint recognition.

Some 25% of 18-24-year-olds said they would be likely to switch banks that did not offer biometric authentication, compared to 17% for other age groups.

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