Apple Touch ID taken on by UK banks RBS and NatWest

18 Feb 2015

Two financial institutions in the UK have taken the bold step to include Apple’s Touch ID security mechanism on their mobile apps.

Around 880,000 customers of the banks currently use their apps on either iPhone 5s, 6 or 6 Plus, which are the devices that will allow this service.

Customers must activate the feature with their personal, security details and, from then on, can rely on Touch ID.

Some of the in-app features used to pay money that required additional verification would continue to do so and limits were set on new payments, according to BBC.

“There has been a revolution in banking, as more and more of our customers are using digital technology to bank with us,” said Stuart Haire, MD at both banks.

“Adding TouchID to our mobile banking app makes it even easier and more convenient for customers to manage their finances on the move and directly responds to their requests.”

The implementation of Touch ID with the iPhone 5s back in 2013 drew fairly fast criticism after people worked out a thrifty way around it – taking an image of someone’s fingerprint on a glass and getting into their device by using it.

Indeed, given the fact that you leave fingerprints everywhere you go, it is essentially allowing you to spread your security credentials anywhere and everywhere. However, in reality, it has proved rather effective.

“There have not been any reports that I know of with the iPhone sensor of actual crimes being enabled by it,” says Ben Schlabs, of SRLabs.

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic