Westpac, an Australian financial institution, has announced that it’s going to allow customers to log into its mobile app via their mobile devices’ fingerprint scanners, according to an article by Beverley Head on The Age. The service will debut in January, and will be compatible with any mobile Apple devices equipped with TouchID fingerprint scanners, as well as Samsung’s S5 and Note 4.
It’s a move that echoes other financial institutions’ recent adoptions of biometric security measures. Of course, it will not be a mandatory security system to begin with; Westpac customers will still be able to use their old access codes and PINs to log in. It’s totally up to them! Though, as Westpac’s head of digital Harry Wendt has darkly noted, “Someone could put a gun to your head and use the (PIN) codes on any device.”
Mr. Wendt’s flippant yet terrifying message underscores the reality of digital threats in the world of online banking. More and more consumers are doing financial transactions online, and fraud has followed suite; as such, industry experts are urging the providers of these services to establish more advanced security measures such as those offered by biometric technology. So it’s a forward-thinking move from Westpac, and will likely bear fruit as consumer expectations advance with respect to their digital security.