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Millennials Driving Demand for AI and Biometrics Security

05 December 2017

Millennials Driving Demand for AI and Biometrics Security

Ellie Fixter,
Senior PR & Content Manager,


  •          77% of Millennials thought that new AI technologies, such as Amazon Echo are appealing as payment devices
  •          Over half the population are now using a banking app on their smartphone
  •          Paying friends and family via smartphone has increased from 9% in 2013 to 52% in 2017


The appetite for biometric and Artificial Intelligence payment security solutions amongst the millennial generation potentially heralds the way for the replacement of passwords and dated security methods says new research from Vocalink, a Mastercard company.

The Vocalink 2017 State of Pay biennial report found that 77% of Millennials[i] thought that new AI technologies such as virtual assistants and hands-free speakers like Amazon Echo and Google Home are appealing as payment devices. In addition, 28% of millennials have used finger print technologies to verify payments and 35% of the group now believes that fingerprint technology is the most secure method of verification followed by iris scanning at 22%

When it comes to the wider population, 34% of the population believes fingerprint technology is more secure than the pin code at just 26% according to the report. The use of fingerprint technology has risen dramatically from 5% in 2015 to 22% in 2017 largely due to the increase in smartphone ownership.  8% of the population have used facial recognition to make payments.

An increase in confidence around the use of biometrics, has also meant a rise in the use of smartphones to make payments, which is now becoming part of ‘everyday’ behaviour, according to Vocalink’s latest report. 52% of the UK population are now using a mobile banking app on their smartphone compared with 38% in 2015, and there has been a growth in the paying of friends and family via smartphone up from 9% in 2013 to 52% in 2017. Consumers are citing convenience, speed and time-saving as some of the main reasons for choosing to pay by smartphone, with 50% of all consumers now using their phone to transact and pay bills, taxis, friends and family and buy larger expenses such as airline tickets or electronics. 

While the report highlights the growth in smartphone payments and the appetite for biometric and AI security solutions, for some security issues remain a concern. Findings show that 29% of smartphone owners, currently without a banking app, say that they won’t adopt a banking app believing that it’s not secure, with 48% also stating that they are concerned about phone loss; this is up from 28% in 2015. In addition, 19% of lapsed smartphone payment users stopped because of security concerns with some lapsed users citing that the mobile network itself may be unsecure (13%).

Alongside security, trust in a payments provider is another key issue for smartphone payment users. While technology companies have traditionally struggled to compete against banks when it comes to the most trusted payment provider, the Vocalink report indicates that this is now changing. The top most trusted to recommend payment products and services are the banks and payment networks, such as Mastercard and PayPal.

Paul Stoddart, CEO at Vocalink, commented: “What’s clear is that while the payments industry has tackled some of the hurdles for consumers, such as convenience and choice in payments, people are increasingly looking for trusted partners to provide reliable and secure payment methods.

While millennials are embracing new technologies, the sector still needs to work together to reassure the broader population that new measures such as biometrics and new developments in AI payment solutions are providing sophisticated and robust security allowing them to transact safely and with confidence. Once we have tackled these concerns, the rise of digital payments will only increase.”

The latest State of Pay report is now regarded as the industry benchmark providing the most comprehensive view of the mobile payments market and its development since 2013. The new research not only paints a detailed picture of the present and any changes since 2013 and 2015, but the 2017 findings also focus on identifying future trends and likely future behaviours. Additional themes covered by the report include: payment to social media contacts, digital cheque payments, payments via virtual assistants and school digital payments.

For further information and a copy of the report, please visit


[i] 77% of Enthusiastic Adopters found the technology appealing in some way.  Page 35.  Research report. 

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