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Lloyds Bank tests biometric authentication from Microsoft

Banking group is trying out enterprise-grade biometric authentication for its online customers

Lloyds Banking Group is testing out biometric authentication technology from Microsoft for online banking.

Customers of Lloyds Bank, Halifax and Bank of Scotland could soon be able to use Windows Hello to access their Windows 10 devices via a combination of fingerprint and facial recognition.

Windows Hello is already used by businesses to provide secure access to corporate resources for employees. Lloyds wants to offer it to its customers as an option.

Cameras using infrared technology on Windows 10 devices can identify faces.

The bank is running the pilot in the second half of this year to test the Windows Hello functionality with Windows 10 users accessing their bank accounts online. Customers will have a choice of using the technology to log in or use traditional passwords.

“With customer experience and security at the forefront of our minds, we are keen to run this pilot to explore the new functionality Windows Hello could give our customers,” said Gill Wylie, chief operating officer, group digital and transformation at Lloyds Banking Group.

Wylie said Lloyds was the first UK bank to use Microsoft on Windows Hello.

Microsoft said it had more than 400 million active users of Windows 10 who could use Windows Hello.

Windows Hello for Business allows employees to use a PIN or biometrics such as a fingerprint or facial recognition to access corporate resources. Users can also authenticate to Microsoft accounts, Active Directory accounts and Azure Active Directory accounts.

The system ties user credentials to an individual PC or mobile device, rather than following users across all devices, which is typically the case with password-based authentication.

According to research from Visa last year, Britons have most trust in banks to provide biometric security with payments.

The study, involving 15,000 people spread evenly across seven European countries, found that 85% of people in Britain trusted banks the most with biometric security for payments.

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