U.K. Mobile Banking Apps Begin Offering Face ID Authentication Support

MacRumors

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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Two U.K. banks today updated their mobile apps to support Face ID, the facial authentication feature exclusive to iPhone X, which officially launches on Friday, November 3.

Nationwide and Bank of Scotland became the first mobile banking apps in the U.K. to provide compatibility with Apple's new facial recognition technology, which is set to replace Touch ID fingerprint authentication on all future iPhones and iPads, according to respected KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.


The two banking apps already provide a Touch ID option to authenticate customers when they attempt to log in to their accounts, so the fact that Face ID is being offered as an alternative option shows that the financial sector has full trust in Apple's new security technology, despite tests showing that it can be fooled by identical twins.

Apple has admitted that Face ID may not be able to distinguish between identical twins and in such cases recommends users protect sensitive data with a passcode instead. Otherwise, Apple says the chance that a random person in the population could look at your iPhone X and unlock it with their face is about one in a million (compared to one in 50,000 for Touch ID).

Face ID has proved to be reliable in early iPhone X reviews and first impressions, and it's also considered easy to set up and use, but Apple likely still has some work to do to convince the general public that facial authentication is the future. According to a research conducted by Top10VPN.com in October, over half (60 percent) of British consumers remain unconvinced by facial recognition. Only two in five (40 percent) consumers believing Face ID is a good idea, while 79 percent of Brits prefer to unlock their devices with a fingerprint or passcodes. (Poll sample size: 2,048 adults.)

Article Link: U.K. Mobile Banking Apps Begin Offering Face ID Authentication Support
 

Telos101

macrumors regular
Apr 29, 2016
219
814
Ireland
I thought Face ID was automatically supported in any app that supports Touch ID?
If that's true, then the bank apps could have disabled Face ID log-in as an authentication option on iPhone X if they didn't trust it, so this is still a good sign.
 

OliverFoggin

macrumors member
Oct 1, 2015
35
102
This comes for free if your app supports TouchID. Literally, you don't have to do anything and you don't get a choice.
 
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noktulo

macrumors newbie
Mar 18, 2013
3
26
If that's true, then the bank apps could have disabled Face ID log-in as an authentication option on iPhone X if they didn't trust it, so this is still a good sign.
My understanding is that apps are only able to ask the OS for "biometric authentication," and the phone determines whether to use Touch ID or Face ID. I don't think the app can choose not to allow Face ID if they allow Touch ID.
 

iSeb

macrumors newbie
Sep 2, 2010
2
0
In Switzerland, we have a more interesting system.
80% of banks co-founded an alternative, TWINT, just because they refuse Apple Pay.
The reason is Apple Pay make tracking more complicated.
TWINT was first a prepay app, with a 2 days delay to charge your account. But absolutely all shops have it now. The banks offers free beacon for it. Oh, yes, it's not integrated in the normal NFC. And this is sad because NFC is in 70% of Switzerland points of sale. So it was easy to accept Apple Pay in 70% of the country in only one day.
No, instead, they put money in a new version of TWINT, which consist of a very single App for each bank, and directly linked... oh I'm lost !

I resume :
- New beacons on every single PoS
- New app with a prepay option, 15 months later (of course nobody wanted it) 9 new apps
Total cost : 100 M CHF so about 100 Millions of $

Yes, in Switzerland, we really put the price to track the customers :(
 

ajthom90

macrumors newbie
Jun 16, 2016
11
35
Minnesota
I thought Apple said that apps which use TouchID would automatically use FaceID in its place? If that's the case then I'm not sure these banks have done anything other than use the FaceID wording.
Apps will work, but iPhone X presents a notification telling the user that the app was designed for Touch ID instead of Face ID. I believe Apple just wants to make sure developers update the verbiage and such to be consistent.

(app name blacked out in screenshot because it's an internal app)
 

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ajthom90

macrumors newbie
Jun 16, 2016
11
35
Minnesota
Apps will work, but iPhone X presents a notification telling the user that the app was designed for Touch ID instead of Face ID. I believe Apple just wants to make sure developers update the verbiage and such to be consistent.

(app name blacked out in screenshot because it's an internal app)
After some further research, it looks like apps built with the iOS 11 SDK are required to provide a "usage description" to say why they are using Face ID. The first time the app requests to use Face ID, the user will have to provide permission to use Face ID (much like location permission).
 

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scaramoosh

macrumors 6502a
Nov 30, 2014
578
586
I use Apple Pay every day, that will use it right? Otherwise I won’t be using the iPhone X.
 

vmistery

macrumors 6502a
Apr 6, 2010
641
377
UK
Interesting, I hadn’t considered it might not work with touchid apps, glad it sounds like it will.
 

LewJo

macrumors newbie
Sep 20, 2017
1
0
Also, Halifax updated their app to 'support' Face ID 6 days ago so not sure how Nationwide and Bank of Scotland can be 'first'?
As Elliott mentions Halifax updated their app to support Face ID last week, BOS today and Lloyds is scheduled for release by Friday pending approval from Apple
 

Sym0

macrumors 6502
Jun 6, 2013
393
43



Two U.K. banks today updated their mobile apps to support Face ID, the facial authentication feature exclusive to iPhone X, which officially launches on Friday, November 3.

Nationwide and Bank of Scotland became the first mobile banking apps in the U.K. to provide compatibility with Apple's new facial recognition technology, which is set to replace Touch ID fingerprint authentication on all future iPhones and iPads, according to respected KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.


The two banking apps already provide a Touch ID option to authenticate customers when they attempt to log in to their accounts, so the fact that Face ID is being offered as an alternative option shows that the financial sector has full trust in Apple's new security technology, despite tests showing that it can be fooled by identical twins.

Apple has admitted that Face ID may not be able to distinguish between identical twins and in such cases recommends users protect sensitive data with a passcode instead. Otherwise, Apple says the chance that a random person in the population could look at your iPhone X and unlock it with their face is about one in a million (compared to one in 50,000 for Touch ID).

Face ID has proved to be reliable in early iPhone X reviews and first impressions, and it's also considered easy to set up and use, but Apple likely still has some work to do to convince the general public that facial authentication is the future. According to a research conducted by Top10VPN.com in October, over half (60 percent) of British consumers remain unconvinced by facial recognition. Only two in five (40 percent) consumers believing Face ID is a good idea, while 79 percent of Brits prefer to unlock their devices with a fingerprint or passcodes. (Poll sample size: 2,048 adults.)

Article Link: U.K. Mobile Banking Apps Begin Offering Face ID Authentication Support

The CBA in Australia just updated with the same support.
 

DeepIn2U

macrumors 603
May 30, 2002
6,162
1,694
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
My understanding is that apps are only able to ask the OS for "biometric authentication," and the phone determines whether to use Touch ID or Face ID. I don't think the app can choose not to allow Face ID if they allow Touch ID.
It would be interesting to see if in iOS 11.1 onward has a specific security option to disable FaceID authentication for specific apps at users choice.

I’ve heard some bank machines now offer some 2 factor authentication. Curious if FaceID or retina authenticity would occur say 5yrs+ from now.

In Switzerland, we have a more interesting system.
80% of banks co-founded an alternative, TWINT, just because they refuse Apple Pay.
The reason is Apple Pay make tracking more complicated.
TWINT was first a prepay app, with a 2 days delay to charge your account. But absolutely all shops have it now. The banks offers free beacon for it. Oh, yes, it's not integrated in the normal NFC. And this is sad because NFC is in 70% of Switzerland points of sale. So it was easy to accept Apple Pay in 70% of the country in only one day.
No, instead, they put money in a new version of TWINT, which consist of a very single App for each bank, and directly linked... oh I'm lost !

I resume :
- New beacons on every single PoS
- New app with a prepay option, 15 months later (of course nobody wanted it) 9 new apps
Total cost : 100 M CHF so about 100 Millions of $

Yes, in Switzerland, we really put the price to track the customers :(
This is Switzerland banking, did you expect standard banking practices?
 

davidbokeria

macrumors newbie
Nov 17, 2017
1
0
I thought Apple said that apps which use TouchID would automatically use FaceID in its place? If that's the case then I'm not sure these banks have done anything other than use the FaceID wording.
Considering that iPhone X doesn’t have a home button, TouchID is not an option to authenticate
 

ajthom90

macrumors newbie
Jun 16, 2016
11
35
Minnesota
Considering that iPhone X doesn’t have a home button, TouchID is not an option to authenticate
The LocalAuthentication framework, which is used by apps to access Touch ID and Face ID, doesn't require apps to say "authenticate with fingerprint". It just says "authenticate with biometrics." The same code is used on apps for iPhone X and Touch ID devices.

See a basic example of Local Authentication (laContext) in the image I posted here.

The field "biometryType" was unavailable before iOS 11, so apps compiled with the iOS 10 SDK don't have the ability to discriminate based on Touch ID or Face ID. App running on iOS 11 or later can theoretically say "run on Face ID only" or "run on Touch ID only", but I would guess developers doing that would be few and far between.
 

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