Let’s hear it for TSB. The UK-challenger brand will roll out iris-scanning tech for its m-banking app in September.
TSB will become the first European bank to go live with iris biometric authentication.
At launch the service will only be available to customers with Samsung’s flagship S8 handset. The iris technology utilised by the bank is also supplied by Samsung.
According to the bank, iris recognition takes advantage of 266 different characteristics, compared with 40 for fingerprints.
The report Deploying Mobile Biometrics in FS, published earlier this year by Opus Research and Mastercard, found that m-banking users can have up to 90 passwords. It also noted that 51% of passwords are used at least twice and 25% of users forget at least one password per day.
TSB’s initiative will do away with the need to remember lengthy IDs or passwords.
There is ample evidence to support the argument that there is consumer appetite for biometric authentication. Opus’s report noted that 135m people around the world had enrolled for services that use their voice to speed up authentication. Bank customers account for more than half of this figure.
The iris recognition launch represents a PR win for TSB and boosts its position as a tech differentiator in an increasingly crowded UK current account market.
As covered in this issue (page 7), neobank Monzo is set to launch its eagerly awaited current account.
The TSB move is also one in the eye for industry critics who never tire of telling the writer of how much UK banks can learn from innovative European markets. Poland, Turkey and Spain are usually mentioned in the next sentence.
On a similar theme, news of TSB’s launch coincided with release of EY’s latest fintech adoption index. If you have not read same, I commend the report. It also contains positive news from a UK perspective.
Globally, fintech users have moved from early adopters in EY’s first such report in 2015 study to an early majority in 2017.
Overall, 33% of the surveyed population indicate they are regular users of fintech services, showing just how much fintech has grown and become accepted among consumers.
China and India rank top in the survey, but of the mature markets, the UK ranks top with 42%, ahead of Spain (37%) and Germany (35%).
One or two interesting geographical comparisons jump out; while the US ranks just above the global average with 35%, neighbouring Canada scores a modest 18%. Singapore also scores modestly with only 23% despite huge fintech efforts from its banking sector and government.
That 23% figure can be expected to grow rapidly in the short to medium term. The EY survey covered 20 markets, with a consumer sample of 20,000.
On the basis of anticipated future use, EY forecasts a global average of 52% of consumers using fintech.
That seems a fairly safe bet.