40% of Brits more likely to access bank accounts via smartphones featuring fingerprint scanners
David Webber, managing director of Intelligent Environments, leading financial services software provider, reveals how the addition of a fingerprint scanner in the new iPhone – to be announced today – will inspire more bank customers to access their accounts via smartphones:
“Apple’s new iPhone fingerprint scanner is set to trigger a huge upswing in the number of Brits accessing their bank accounts via a mobile phone. According to our research, two fifths (40%) of UK consumers would be more likely to access their bank accounts via a smartphone if it had a built-in fingerprint scanner, that’s equivalent to over 18.4 million UK consumers.
“Fingerprint technology, already used in mobile phones in Japan for authentication of mobile payments, will allow Apple and third party developers like financial services institutions to eliminate passwords. The increased functionality of not having to enter passwords manually removes a barrier some consumers have when accessing bank accounts or making payments via a mobile device.
“This development will trigger a biometric banking revolution, which spells the death of the password as we know it.
“Currently, more than a quarter of Brits (27%) avoid using digital banking altogether due to the hassle of using a pin sentry or card reader to access their account. In fact, as many one in eight (13%) are effectively locked out of their account as they’ve lost their pin sentry.
“Biometric authentication will change all this. The new iPhone will do for passwords what iTunes did for CDs. It won’t be long before the majority of mobile devices incorporate biometric authentication and with banks keen to ensure the highest levels of security for their customers, it will be interesting to see which bank will be the first to integrate it into its mobile banking apps.
“However, if the rumours are true that the fingerprint scanner will only work for 500 scans, then Apple risks shooting itself in the foot. According to our research, the 500 scan limit could be used up in only six months, based on users accessing multiple accounts three times a day. This would render the scanner useless for the remainder of a typical mobile phone contract, potentially 18 months. If implemented properly, this feature could spell the end of the password, giving millions of consumers the confidence to bank using their phones. Yet a 500 scan limit means this technology might not even get out of the starting blocks. That will be hugely disappointing for the financial services industry.”