With advancements in the field of biometric technology, India has topped globally in the adoption of biometrics techniques, says a report. “On an average, people in India (9 per cent) are three times more likely than any other country (3 per cent) 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 technologies 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 per cent) are the highest adopters of fingerprint technology, followed by India (31 per cent) and the UAE (25 per cent) among the countries surveyed.
On the other hand, just 9 per cent of people in France and Germany, and 14 per cent 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.
The regular use of traditional technology like using password feature is most common in West, it said. When it comes to money management, people in India (50 per cent) and China (48 per cent) agreed that computers can provide more accurate advice than humans, while it was just 18 per cent in Canada, and 21 per cent in the UK, it said. Further, it revealed that Germany has the lowest adoption of smartphone or tablet banking with only 4 per cent claiming that phone banking is their preferred way of banking as compared to 9 per cent in Hong Kong and 15 per cent 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 per cent of people in China own a fax machine and 39 per cent 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.