HSBC has told the BBC that it is going all-in on biometric security, replacing both passwords and memorable questions with a combination of Touch ID and voice-recognition. The bank says that the option will be offered first to customers of its UK branchless subsidiary First Direct before rolling out to 15 million HSBC customers.
First Direct’s customers will be offered the voice and fingerprint recognition system over the next few weeks, followed by HSBC’s in the summer.
Francesca McDonagh, HSBC UK’s head of retail banking and wealth management, said: “The launch of voice and touch ID makes it even quicker and easier for customers to access their bank account, using the most secure form of password technology – the body.”
The hi-tech security approach is heavy on Apple tech …
Apple Pay is picking up a huge wave of newly added banks and credit unions across the United States to support the mobile payment service. Following a couple dozen more banks lighting up earlier this month, Apple has added over 70 additional participating banks to its list of active partners including HSBC in the US. These are the latest banks that now work with Apple Pay:
Following the launch of Apple Pay in the UK two weeks ago, Apple is continuing the rollout with the addition of two major banks, HSBC and First Direct. Customers who have credit cards or debit cards with those banks can start using Apple Pay now. As with other UK Apple Pay transactions, there is a £20 transaction limit at most retailers apart from those with upgraded payment terminals that support higher-value contactless purchases. The £20 limit is getting raised to £30 in September.
HSBC appears to have let slip the release date of Apple Pay in the UK over Twitter. In a tweet that has since been deleted, a support representative from the bank said ‘Yes! It’s due to launch this Tuesday! We are excited too’. 9to5Mac previously reported the 14th July date for the expansion of Apple Pay into the UK a couple of weeks ago.
UK retailers also seem to think that the Apple Pay launch is imminent as signs showing support for the contactless technology have started appearing across the country, as noted by 9to5Mac readers and Matt Brian on Twitter.