A lack of understanding and trust in technology is stalling mainstream adoption of innovative new services which could make millions of people’s daily lives simpler and more secure, new HSBC research reveals.
The HSBC research report, Trust in Technology, shows that technologies such as fingerprint recognition, voice recognition and robo-advice hold enormous potential for uses from bank security to mobile payments and investment advice, yet millions of people who could benefit do not trust them because they do not understand them well enough.
The study of more than 12,000 people in 11 countries reveals four in every five people (80%) believe that technology makes their lives easier but less than half (46%) trust fingerprint recognition to replace their password, despite it being recognized to be at least five1 times more secure and significantly more convenient than traditional passwords.
Eighty-four per cent of respondents say they would share their personal data with their bank if it meant getting a better service, underlining the need to educate consumers about the specific benefits of new technologies.
The data also show that, people believe their bank offering the protection of their personal data security is as important as the security for their finances (87%).
However, people rely on traditional passwords to confirm their identity (70%) with only a fifth (21%) using fingerprint recognition and just 6% using voice recognition, regardless of the security benefits.
People are twice as likely to trust a humanoid robot for heart surgery (14%) as they are to trust one to open a savings account (7%) and only 11% would trust any type of robot, including chatbots, to open a savings account or provide mortgage advice, despite the power of machines to analyse vast amounts of data to find the best deal.
Men (45% vs. 38%) believe they are the first adopters of new technology but the research shows that they tend to use it less than women.
While men were the heaviest users of PCs and laptops, faxes, pagers and landlines, women are embracing wearables, apps and tablets more than their male counterparts. While there is optimism around the progressive nature of technology, the significant majority of people have never heard of new technologies, and if they have, they couldn’t explain what they do.
The least understood new technologies include: blockchain, a digital ledger (80%); robo-advisers, automated investment advice (69%); and finance applications integrated into social media, like WeChat or Facebook (60%).
Almost one in four people (24%) have not heard of, or do not know what voice activation technology is, despite it being widely available in consumer smartphones.
The data indicate that as a result there is a reliance on long established methods of money management with the most common traditional channels including: online banking via a bank website (67%); ATMs (55%); and branch visits (41%).
Increasing knowledge and understanding of new technologies, building predictability and reassuring users about security, are essential to establishing trust and accelerating adoption, the study indicates.
The research showed that providing a very simple explanation of how voice recognition works, ‘trust in biometrics’ rose from 45% to 51%.
Trust in technology not only varies across genders, ages and geographies but uses too with some surprising results.