Australian Bank To Allow Account Access via Touch ID

News reports out of Australia this morning are saying that St George Bank will be allowing customers to log in to their online financial accounts with the iPhone Touch ID fingerprint sensor once iOS 8 is released this fall. With the launch of this service, St George will be one of the first banks in the world to allow for fingerprint enabled mobile banking.

Despite the high profile spoofing of the Touch ID sensor a year ago on its launch, St George Bank is confident in the security, citing liveness detection as a reason that it is more secure than any other type of available authentication.

At this year’s WWDC, Apple announced that its next mobile operating system, expected to launch simultaneously with the next iPhone, would allow developers to integrate Touch ID functionality into their apps. Illustrating the freedom that this would allow users and developers alike, Apple demonstrated a fingerprint-enabled banking app for Mint.com. St George Bank’s choice of Touch ID security is enabled by Apple’s choice to open up the biometric sensor with iOS 8.

Still, experts have voiced their concerns in protecting banks with commercial biometric sensors. Speaking to Financial Review, the bank’s chief information officer, Dhiren Kulkami, underlined the fact that customer credentials will be stored by the bank, behind a firewall, and not on the smartphone.

St George Bank is also developing a similar solution with the Samsung Galaxy S5’s fingerprint sensor, which is already used to authorize PayPal transactions.

Australia’s adoption of biometrics for banking is not new or confined to fingerprints. Earlier this year, The System Works Group chose EyeVerify’s eyeprint biometrics to secure it’s mobile banking app.

In preparation for Biometrics UnPlugged in Tampa, Florida, Mobile ID World spent all of July focused on the discussion of mobility, biometrics and commerce. Registration for the executive event is still open. To learn more visit the Biometrics UnPlugged website.