Major banks launch iPhone apps with facial recognition

7 November 2017

Bank of Scotland, First Direct, Halifax and Tesco Bank are among the first UK banks to upgrade their mobile banking apps to be compatible with the new iPhone facial recognition software.

The iPhone X was released on Friday 3 November, and allows users to log into their phone and authenticate payments using facial scanning, rather than traditional usernames and passwords.

The four banks listed above have now integrated this new technology into their mobile banking apps.

Customers will still be able to log into their accounts using other methods – such as passwords or fingerprint scanning – if they prefer.

Other high street banks have also started using new technology to enable customers to login to their bank accounts. In February, Santander said it became the UK’s first bank to offer voice activated payments using the bank’s smartphone app, while HSBC and First Direct users can login to telephone banking using just their voice

Customers of TSB meanwhile, can unlock their mobile banking app using just their iris – as long as they have a Samsung Galaxy S8 or Samsung Galaxy S8+.

Joe Gordon, head of First Direct, says: “First Direct is known for pioneering amazing customer-focused services, so we’re excited to be able to deliver a fully optimised banking app hot off the heels of the iPhone X release.

“Our customers expect great service from us, and we’re always working hard to deliver secure, intuitive ways to bank to fit in with their lives.”

Grant Bourbousson, digital and customer 2020 director at Tesco Bank, adds: “We know customers love using our mobile banking app to quickly and easily manage their money.

“This addition illustrates our continued commitment to developing digital services that utilise the latest technologies available, and which really meet our customers’ needs. This is a simple, convenient and helpful development for Tesco Bank customers.”

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