Commonwealth Bank of Australia has become the country's first bank to let customers access their accounts using the new iPhone X's Face ID technology. In the UK, first direct is the earliest out of the starting blocks, switching all apps on the new phone over to facial recognition.
The feature was rolled out on Friday, when the iPhone X went on sale globally, replacing Touch ID, the fingerprint scanning authentication method used on older iPhones.
Face ID works by projecting 30,000 invisible infrared dots when the user looks at the phone, checking the pattern against a stored image in real time. Data is stored on the handset.
Apple insists that the technology cannot be tricked by photos or even masks and that it is smart enough to recognise users if they wear a hat or grow a beard. Data is stored on the handset.
The chances of a stranger unlocking a phone with Face ID are put at one in one million, compared to one in 50,000 for Touch ID.
“Our customers use secure fingerprint logins on the CommBank App about 30 million times a month,” says Pete Steel, executive GM, digital, CBA.
“Extending that functionality to Face ID is part of our ongoing work to provide a better banking experience to our customers through simple, easy and secure features."
Delivering Face ID is just one part of the equation, as banks also have to redesign their mobile site to fit a new set of specs specific to the iPhone X screen. First direct says it has optimised its mobile app to give iPhone X customers a seamless user experience from the off.
Joe Gordon, head of first direct, says: “First direct is known for pioneering amazing customer-focused services, so we’re excited to be able to deliver a fully optimised Banking App hot off the heels of the iPhone X release."