RBS uses Apple fingerprint authentication for mobile banking

RBS and NatWest customers will soon be able to log in to mobile banking app using their fingerprints

Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and NatWest customers will soon be able to log in to the banks' mobile banking app using their fingerprint.

Customers with an iPhone 5S, 6 or 6 Plus will be able to use the service from 19 February 2015.

Apple popularised fingerprint authentication with its Apple Pay service, which has seen fast take-up in the US since its launch in October 2014.

Through Apple's Touch ID fingerprint sensor, the banks' customers can log into the app in seconds. The technology recognises the customer's unique fingerprint, meaning they dont have to remember a tricky passcode – making it easier and more convenient to access their finances.

Half of the 15 million customers at the banks use online banking, with more than three million customers using the mobile app every week. RBS and NatWest – both part of the Royal Bank of Scotland Group – have 1.8 million active iPhone users who use the app 40 times per month on average.

The banks' busiest branch is the mobile app itself. More than 167,000 of RBS and NatWest’s customers use it between 7am and 8am on their commute to work every day.

RBS and NatWest Direct Bank managing director Stuart Haire said the introduction of fingerprint authentication is in response to customer demand.

“There has been a revolution in banking, as more and more of our customers are using digital technology to bank with us," he said. "Adding Touch ID 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. 

“We want to continue adapting our service based on the valuable feedback we receive from our customers every day.”

Mobile is the most dominant form of banking in the world, according to a massive study of 80,000 people.

The research by Bain & Company, published in December 2014, revealed that mobile accounted for about a third of transactions in 13 out of the 22 countries surveyed.

The study showed banking using a mobile is taking over online banking via a computer, which decreased by 3% in 2013.

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