Academic journal article International Journal of Business and Management Science

Adoption of Biometric Technology in Online Applications

Academic journal article International Journal of Business and Management Science

Adoption of Biometric Technology in Online Applications

Article excerpt


Internet has become a common platform for users to conduct various activities or tasks. Many applications can be performed online, such as, purchasing of goods and services (e.g., airline ticket booking, searching for information, transacting online (e.g., bills and credit card payments, and online brokering to buy shares), submitting income tax submissions, and e-voting. Though online applications are convenient, the growing problem of online fraud such as the threat of spyware and virus which allows usernames and passwords to be stolen for unauthorized access has created huge problems to society (Philippsohn, Thomas and Berwald, 2003; Treese, 2004). For example, card payments industry association APACS in United Kingdom reported that card fraud in the UK amounted to 428 million [pounds sterling] (US$850 million) in 2006 (Fischer, 2007).

Although the introduction of chip-and-PIN technology has managed to reduce the problem, more secure methods of identifying individuals are needed to curb online fraud especially those involving online payment. Biometric technology is increasingly being viewed as a potential answer to the problem (Ovia, 2005; Fischer, 2007). Biometric technology is a new kind of security measure to validate access to online applications (Daudelin, 2000; Voice, 2005). It utilizes certain physical and behavioral traits that are unique to an individual to identify and verify a person. Based on this, it provides a better method for identification as compared to other security measures. As biometric device uses a unique biological trait to distinguish an individual, it is very difficult and often impossible for the identifier to be lost, stolen, duplicated, or given away (Liu and Silverman, 2001). All these benefits make biometric technology a very attractive option for companies and government agencies to adopt a new security technology for their online applications (Engebretson, 2005).

Biometric authentication systems have been commonly used in governmental agencies, business, and consumers in advance countries (Langenderfer and Linnhoff, 2005). In the case of developing countries such as Malaysia, the internet technology is experiencing rapid growth and the number of Internet subscribers is expected to reach the 10 million mark in the next five years. At such, internet security technology, such as biometric authentication is becoming increasingly prominent as a tool of technological support for national development (Kleist, 2007; Stellitano, 2004; Krasnow, 2001).

Hence, the deployment of biometric technology on online applications are promoted as important and necessary criteria for organizations or governmental agencies that offer online application to survive the competition in this modern era. However, the adoption of biometric technology remains an issue. It has been documented that a lack of understanding of the challenges and constraints in implementing biometrics has resulted in many organizations making less investment or do not invest at all in biometrics technology (Chandra and Calderon, 2005). Due to the use of physiological characteristics, biometrics present unique adoption concerns (James, Pirim, Boswell, Reitheland Barkhi (2006). Unfortunately, few attempts have been undertaken to research user's adoption towards biometric technology.

In addition, very limited studies on the adoption of biometric technology on online applications have been conducted in developing countries. A review of literature revealed that most of the later studies on biometric technology centered on the scientific development and implementation in advanced countries (Atkins, 2000; Adams, 2006; Ahmed and Siyal, 2005; James et al., 2006; Kleist, Pearson and Riley, 2004; Scherer, 2005; Stellitano, 2004). Literature review has not yielded evidence of attempts made to empirically investigate biometric adoption status in developing countries

This study thus attempts to address the above gap by examining the adoption of biometric technology in online application, specifically to determine the factors that influence and affect users' intention to use biometric technology. …

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