Customers of each bank will need to activate the Touch ID feature with their existing security information within each respective app before being able to gain access to their banking statements via their finger. After three failed Touch ID login attempts, each bank said the app will revert to the traditional user name/password protected log-in request before needing to re-establish the Touch-ID features.
BBC reported that a few "security experts" voiced concern over the new fingerprint security feature given reports of specialized fake fingerprint hacks. Speaking to BBC, Ben Schlabs, of SRLabs, a German hacking think tank, said, "The security implications are the same, it is just as dangerous... I think it has been shown that it is pretty easy to spoof it and the risks aren't fully understood." There have, however, been no reports of such hacks being successfully used for malicious purposes.
With the recent surge of online and app-based banking solutions, both RBS and NatWest are confident the new feature will continue to offer their customers the level of security and accessibility they expect from the banks.
Stuart Haire, managing director, RBS and NatWest Direct Bank, said: "There has been a revolution in banking, as more and more of our customers are using digital technology to bank with us.Both RBS and NatWest are owned by the same parent company, Royal Bank of Scotland Group, so many of the same features and options will be similar between each app. Each bank also promised that existing processes that required additional verification of identity, like money transfers, will continue to do so even if users choose to opt-in for the Touch ID features.
"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."