Webster Bank today announces the integration of Apple's Touch ID authentication into its mobile banking app, one of the feature's first uses by a US bank.
As part of the robust multi-tier security model developed for the app by Mobile Money provider Monitise (LSE: MONI), Touch ID allows consumers to access selected features by fingerprint identification alone. The service is available as part of an update to Webster's app, developed with Monitise, now on the App Store.
The use of Touch ID allows customers of Webster Bank - which has over $22 billion in assets and 164 banking centers in the northeast - to login and check their balance or view their transaction history by just swiping their fingerprint. In order to safeguard accounts, for more detailed transactions such as payments and transfers, users will continue to follow full authentication steps using their regular account name and password.
Webster Bank's Touch ID service creates a simple and intuitive experience for customers without compromising security. Simpler login processes can help drive adoption and engagement, as seen in recent research commissioned by Monitise and conducted by Ipsos MORI which found that 44% of American smartphone users would find a new mobile banking app more attractive if there was a one-step login process available.
Nitin Mhatre, Executive Vice President, head of Webster's Community Bank, said: "Over a third of Webster customers routinely access their accounts using smartphones, and a significant proportion of them have iPhones. With Touch ID, Webster customers with the iPhone 5S or iPhone 6/6Plus will be literally one touch away from their account information."
Mike Dreyer, Chief Operating Officer and President, Americas at Monitise, added: "What consumers need from their mobile banking service is a fine balance between security and accessibility – reassuring them that their money is safe while giving them easy access and complete control over it. Having Touch ID as part of a multi-tiered security model strikes that balance and shows how Mobile Money is becoming increasingly frictionless.."
Touch ID authentication is available on iOS 8 for Touch ID-enabled smartphones (iPhone 5S and subsequent models), and to all financial institutions using the Monitise Vantage Platform.
 Research commissioned by Monitise, conducted by Ipsos MORI, interviewed a representative sample of 1,204 US adult smartphone users via an online quantitative survey in August 2014 about mobile banking. 53% of the sample were current mobile banking or financial services app users.