India is ahead of other countries in adoption of biometric technologies: HSBC report

On an average, people in India (9 percent) are three times more likely than any other country (3 percent) surveyed to have used 'iris recognition'.

With advancements in the field of biometric technology, India has topped globally in adoption of biometrics techniques, says a report.

"On an average, people in India (9 percent) are three times more likely than any other country (3 percent) surveyed to have used 'iris recognition' to identify themselves," said the HSBC's recent 'Trust in Technology' report.

It said people in Asia and the Middle East are ahead of the West when it comes to the adoption of new technology due to greater understanding and optimism leading to more trust.

The report was compiled from research representing views of 12,019 people from 11 countries and territories, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Mexico, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, UK and the USA.

The trust in technology and its adoption are driven not only by consumer trends, but can be encouraged by wider governmental support, it said.

The Indian government first launched the Aadhaar Project, a biometrics programme, in 2009, creating the world's largest biometric data set, said the report.

The accelerated adoption of fingerprint recognition in the East, a widespread consumer technology, highlights the contrasting perspectives, it added.

People in China (40 percent) are the highest adopters of fingerprint technology, followed by India (31 percent) and the UAE (25 percent) among the countries surveyed
On the other hand, just 9 percent of people in France and Germany, and 14 percent in Canada have used fingerprint technology to identify themselves, the report noted.

"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," HSBC India Head of Retail Banking and Wealth Management Ramakrishnan S told PTI here.

In the case of India, a national mind set of openness coupled with government support for the roll out and promotion of new technology has had a transformative effect on the nation, he said. can provide more accurate advice than humans, while it was just 18 percent in Canada, and 21 percent in the UK, it said.

Further, it revealed that Germany has the lowest adoption of smartphone or tablet banking with only 4 percent claiming that phone banking is their preferred way of banking as compared to 9 percent in Hong Kong and 15 percent in the UAE.

However, the report said 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.

About 50 percent of people in China own a fax machine and 39 percent 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, data, however, suggested that progress across the region is hugely uneven with the differences most likely between the rural and urban areas.

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