Apple Touch ID to work with RBS & Natwest mobile apps

Natwest and RBS customers with an Apple iPhone 5s or higher can login to their mobile banking apps from tomorrow using Apple's Touch ID biometric fingerprint scanner.

The banks are the first in the UK to secure their mobile banking apps in this way, with others likely to follow.

Despite the presence of fingerprint scanners on an increasing number of smartphones including the Samsung Galaxy S5 the service is only being offered to Natwest and RBS customers with Apple iPhones that support Touch ID. At the moment, these include the iPhone 5S, iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus.

At present, the companies claim more than 1.8 million iPhone owners use their mobile banking apps around 40 times a month.

In a statement, the banks said the move was designed to make it easier and more convenient for users to access up-to-date information about the state of their finances without have to remember pass codes.

Stuart Haire, managing director of RBS and Natwest Dirct Bank, said it's also being introduced to reflect the growing number of customers using both firms' online banking services.

According to figures released by both banks, nearly half of their combined 15 million customers use online banking, while three million use their mobile apps each week.

"There has been a revolution in banking, as more and more of our customers are using digital technology to bank with us," said Haire.

"Adding Touch ID to our mobile banking app makes it even easier and more convenient for customers to manage their finances on the move.

"Our aim is to be the number one bank for customer trust, service and advocacy, as we want to continue adapting our service based on the valuable feedback we receive from our customers every day," he added.

Caroline Donnelly is the news and analysis editor of IT Pro and its sister site Cloud Pro, and covers general news, as well as the storage, security, public sector, cloud and Microsoft beats. Caroline has been a member of the IT Pro/Cloud Pro team since March 2012, and has previously worked as a reporter at several B2B publications, including UK channel magazine CRN, and as features writer for local weekly newspaper, The Slough and Windsor Observer. She studied Medical Biochemistry at the University of Leicester and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism at PMA Training in 2006.