Webster Bank embraces Apple Touch ID biometric authentication
US-based Webster Bank has introduced fingerprint authentication, using Apple’s Touch ID technology. The move comes as financial institutions increasingly seek to use biometrics as a tool to improve security.
Built by mobile money specialist firm Monitise, the Webster banking app featuring Touch ID works on Apple devices running iOS 8 (iPhone 5S and subsequent models). The use of Touch ID allows customers of Webster Bank to login and check their balance or view their transaction history by swiping their fingerprint.
“What consumers need from their mobile banking service is a fine balance between security and accessibility – reassuring them that their money is safe while giving them easy access and complete control over it,” said Mike Dreyer, chief operating officer and president, Americas at Monitise. “Having Touch ID as part of a multi-tiered security model strikes that balance and shows how Mobile Money is becoming increasingly frictionless.”
However, for more detailed transactions such as payments and transfers, users will still need to follow full authentication steps using their regular account name and password.
Recent research commissioned by Monitise and conducted by Ipsos MORI found that 44% of American smartphone users would find a new mobile banking app more attractive if there was a one-step login process available.
The success of Touch ID has meant that some banks, such as Bank of America, are considering integrating it into their mobile apps. Barclays is to introduce a ‘finger vein’ reader that will identify its corporate customers, and a potential bank challenger, Atom, has raised £25 million with the intention of investing in customer identification through fingerprints, voice, facial recognition, and iris recognition. Atom is expected to launch this year and will be ‘digital only’ – with no branches, the only way to access the bank will be online and through mobile apps.