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The UK Banks Introduce Fingerprint Technology for Customers to Access Bank Accounts

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Published on : Feb 19, 2015

Two banks in the UK industry are allowing their customers to access their bank accounts using fingerprint recognition technology on their smart phones. The NatWest and RBS customers must use this technology by activating the feature using security information. However, this is only restricted to use of Apple’s Touch ID. 

The banks inform that after three consecutive failed login attempts, customers would be required to re-enter their pass-codes. 

This feature would be available on the iPhone 5s, 6, and 6 Plus. In a concern to a security expert the Touch ID is not secure enough. Customers will have to enable the feature using existing login details. 

Certain in-app features require add on verification too, said the banks. There are around 880,000 of their customers that use these apps on the handsets. 

The feature was criticized soon after the launch of the iPhone 5 in 2013. The event turned out unfavorable because a group of hackers forged a fake finger from a glass surface. 

While Apple insisted that the feature is secure, it is not a complete replacement for the conventional security measures. The banks are seeking for easier and more convenient ways for customers though. 

A German hacking think tank informed the BBC that the security measures and implications of this feature are the same but the risks are not fully understood. The TouchID alone introduces high risk to gain access to a banking app that was not there when customers used pins or passwords, added an official. All the risks related to this feature are poorly understood.  

A British Banking Association also reports that more than 12.4 million times banking applications have been downloaded in Britain.  

Also, there are around 5.7 million transactions done each day on smart phones and miscellaneous other internet-enabled technology. Banks report that approximately 50% of their combined customer based used online banking for accessing their accounts each week. 

The managing directors of both the banks also expressed their opinion about using digital technology and help customers manage their finances on the move comfortably.