AI and biometrics could boost e-commerce confidence in LatAm

Education about the possibilities offered by technology could improve consumer perceptions around security, says Mastercard
Written by Angelica Mari, Contributing Writer on

Improving knowledge about technologies such as artificial intelligence and biometrics could help address consumer concerns over e-commerce security in Latin America, according to a new study.

E-commerce is seeing consistent growth in Latin markets, with a 21,3% boost predicted for 2019 at $71,3 billion, according to the report carried out by Kantar on behalf of Mastercard across Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Peru and Puerto Rico.

However, there is an opportunity to better inform consumers about the security associated with online shopping and particularly the role of new technologies, according to the study, which has found that fear of card data leaking during or after purchase is one of the main concerns for buyers.

"Educating consumers about technologies such as AI and passive biometric authentication can allow e-commerce to spread to more families, turning rare buyers into frequent customers once they know they can trust the system," said Mastercard's Vice President of cybersecurity for Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), Jorge Arbesu.

Addressing the points that would motivate consumers to shop online more often could help in further increasing e-commerce growth in the region, according to Arbesu.

"This could help the retail and payments industry capitalize on the billions of dollars of untapped demand that is present in e-commerce across LAC," he added.

This demand is illustrated in the percentage of consumers that make very few purchases online or do so very rarely - about 30-40% of consumers across all countries researched. In addition, about 30% of consumers in Brazil said they tend to abandon their baskets prior to checkout.

Regarding biometrics, the study has found that most consumers want to "grow beyond passwords" and see identification through fingerprints, face recognition and other emerging forms as the next phase of their authentication.

The percentage of consumers polled who expressed a desire for this feature range from 63% in Puerto Rico to 83% in Costa Rica, the study noted. Overall, more than 80% of consumers in most countries surveyed want biometric authentication.

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