Westpac enhances banking security with fingerprint scanning

From January next year, Westpac will be introducing Touch ID to Westpac Live for iPhones and Samsung Galaxy 5 and Note 4 devices.

Westpac customers will soon be able to use their fingerprint to securely sign in to Westpac's digital banking platform Westpac Live on their iPhones, Samsung Galaxy S5, and Samsung Galaxy Note 4.

To be made available from January next year, the fingerprint-sensor technology, known as Touch ID, is part of the Westpac Group's aim to implement biometrics across all the banking applications of its brand. Westpac said the technology will add further security and convenience for the increasing number of Westpac customers banking on their smartphones.

"Over half of our digitally active customers are using mobile banking and now doing more than AU$50 billion worth of transactions each year," said Jason Yetton, Westpac retail group executive.

"The desire for mobile-led banking solutions is playing a major role in everyday consumer life -- something that will not slow down -- and we're excited to be at the forefront of mobile banking innovation, providing instant access to banking for customers via fingerprint sign in."

The launch of the fingerprint-scanning technology follows the introduction of Westpac Live in May this year, which offers more self-service options, including real-time running balance and search capability so that customers can see their entire financial position on the platform, no matter what device they're using.

To further enhance Westpac Live, Westpac has also announced that it will be releasing new features early next year to the platform, including the ability for users to share access to their account with others, and view accounts in a foreign currency.

"Our customers are increasingly demanding a greater end-to-end experience and greater consistency when accessing their bank accounts via their mobile, their iPad, their PC, and we are constantly innovating to deliver this," Yetton said.

These latest announcements follow a series of technology launches that Westpac made during the year, such as its mobile banking app, Get Cash, which enables customers to withdraw cash from a Westpac ATM without a card by having a code. The bank further simplified this process in September, when it removed the need for customers to dial Westpac's call centre to obtain the six-digit code, and instead introduced the process to have the code sent directly to the customer's phone.

Under its St George brand, the company made its mobile banking application available for the Samsung Gear 2 smartwatch, after it was initially made available in April on the Sony SmartWatch2.

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