While cyber-crime and terrorism create national and worldwide threats, technology responds with an ever-growing array of identity-based protections which can be employed in order to reduce fears of theft or physical harm.Financial information is often the target of cyber-crime, and because advisors handle investor assets, including transfer and distribution aspects of those assets, the security of those advisor accounts requires increased and advanced protection measures. Today, such measures often include biometrics, but many investors are wary of the use of their personal physical characteristics for such functions.Spectrem’s monthly researchwith wealthy investors includes questions on a “Hot Topic’’ that goes beyond the regular research topics, and investors recently were asked about biometric security measures which use the uniqueness of their bodies to provide identification when necessary.The questions were asked in three parts: familiarity with different biometric scan techniques, current usage of biometric scans, and comfort with biometric scans in different applications.The complete rundown of investor response, including details based on investor segmentation, is available in Spectrem’s Visual Analytics, a key component of Spectrem’s Wealth Spectrem and Wealthy Investor Series packages of investor research.The potential for maintaining security in online accounts through biometric scans is a practice available to advisors and providers. While the familiarity and comfort of such scans is not high among investors, your clients may grow to appreciate those measures once they experience them more often in the real world.Thirty-two percent of all investors say they use thumbprint or fingerprint scans in their lives already, and that is by far the most oft-used technique in our society currently. Only 15 percent have used facial recognition, and 10 percent have used voice analysis in their lives. The other scans, including the two eye scans available, are rarely used currently by American investors.There is some agreement among investors in terms of comfort with biometric scan procedures; approximately 60 percent are comfortable to some degree with most biometric scan methods, although less than half are comfortable with voice recognition methods.Fifty-eight percent of investors are comfortable with using biometric procedures to provide safety at airports, and 54 percent like the idea for identification in voting in elections. But only 36 percent like the idea of biometric scan security for making purchases while shopping, and only 38 percent like the idea for making certain their cars don’t get stolen.
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