More progress for biometrics as TSB launches mobile iris scanning

There is lots of discussion in the financial services industry at the moment about biometric authentication and its potential to replace passwords and PINs in digital banking.

The sector has witnessed some big strides forward in this field, including TSB’s incorporation of iris scanning into its mobile app. It is the first bank in Europe to provide this capability.

From September 2017, the iris scanning function will be available to TSB app users in the UK with a Samsung Galaxy S8 or S8+ smartphone. These customers will have the option to access the app using the Samsung Pass iris scanner.

This new technology is being made available alongside the existing fingerprint authentication option. As a result, there is no longer any need for app users to remember “lengthy IDs or passwords”, TSB said.

The bank pointed out that iris scanning is the most secure form of biometric authentication currently available. The iris has 266 unique characteristics that can be read by a scanner, more than six times as many as fingerprints.

Carlos Abarca, TSB’s chief information officer, said: “We want our mobile app customers to continue to have a fast, easy-to-use experience; iris recognition delivers that and, when combined with our other security measures, an unparalleled level of cyber security.”

This is part of a wider project of tech-driven change taking place at the bank. Its mobile app was revamped and relaunched in recent months, based on the new Proteo4UK IT banking platform.

TSB’s intention is to move away from legacy systems and improve the speed and agility with which it is able to launch new services such as iris recognition.

Mr Abarca noted: “Our new banking platform, Proteo4UK, allows us to accelerate TSB’s ability to make banking better for all UK consumers and I can’t wait to continue to surprise and delight our customers with new technology like this.”

Image: iStock/Geebshot

Written by Jack Dougal

Jack Dougal

Jack Dougal is's resident news reporter. He writes regular blogs covering the latest stories and key developments in the global financial services industry.

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