Rising Trend: Growing Acceptance of Biometrics for Purchases Among Canadians


Sensitivity often surrounds fingerprint recognition technology, usually reserved for the most formal of settings and locations. Still, a recent analysis conducted by the famed research entity, Research Co., implies that Canadians may push for more universal accessibility of this feature.

This multifaceted research has shown a gradual increase in Canadians’ acceptance of biometrics for purchasing goods. Interestingly, its acceptance among Canadians has marked a surge of four percentage points since the prior year, currently championing the approval of 44 per cent of the population.

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However, the opposition remains significant, but it has been dwindling over time. The percentage of Canadians who adamantly oppose the incorporation of biometrics and body measurements for purchases dropped by four points over the past year, levelling at 45 per cent.

Yet, uncertainty brews among a minority as 11 per cent of Canadians remain quizzical over whether to embrace or reject biometrics for purchasing purposes.

What’s intriguing is the variance among age groups. The younger demographic aged between 18 and 34 show stronger acceptance, with more than half (54 per cent) anticipating a future where payments can seamlessly transition to biometrics. However, an undertone of uncertainty seeps in the older demographics, specifically those aged between 35 to 54 (44 per cent acceptance) and those over 55 (31 per cent acceptance).

Regarding future expectations, 23 per cent, an uptick of five points, imagine making purchases with biometrics within the next five years, and 33 per cent, an increase by one point, foresee embracing this technology within a decade.

Concurrently, as the study delved into the specific methods Canadians have utilized for purchases in the past month, only a fraction – 18 per cent – have relied on cash. Credit cards reigned supreme, being the choice of 40 per cent, followed by debit cards at a 28 per cent preference.

In contrast, Canadians have shown less momentum towards smartphones for making payments (7 per cent), selecting e-transfers (6 per cent), or employing cheques (2 per cent).

Age again proved a significant factor when it came to payment methods. For Canadians aged 55 and over, half of all purchases were transacted via credit cards. This predilection dwindled in the age group of 35 to 54 (41 per cent) and faced an even steeper drop among those aged 18 to 34 (31 per cent).

Despite age differences, debit cards remained a consistently sparing choice for transactions across all groups. However, the younger demographic (18 to 34) showed a particular penchant for smartphone-use in purchases.

Shockingly, 63 per cent of Canadians confessed to at least one occasion in the past month when a lack of paper money forced them to make credit or debit card payments for purchases below $10. Most notably, Ontarians (71 per cent) and Albertans (70 per cent) commonly reported minor purchases on plastic money.

These insightful results hinge on an online study, surveying 1,000 adults in Canada from August 17 to August 19, 2023. The gathered data was balanced in consideration of the Canadian census figures for age, gender and region, ensuring a representative and accurate depiction of the biometrics adoption trend across the country. A marginal plus or minus 3.1 percentage points of error were acknowledged, being applicable nineteen times out of twenty.