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NatWest launches biometric mobile payments for business customers

The bank said it worked with external partners to ensure that the new feature is “completely secure.” Photo: RBS/NatWest

NatWest has announced the launch of a new biometric payment-approval feature that allows business and commercial customers to use fingerprints and facial recognition.

These customers will be able to make payments of any size through the Bankline Mobile App using Face ID or Touch ID, without the need for a card reader — a UK banking first.

Once customers have registered their device, they can set up biometic payments using one of Apple’s biometric scanners, before entering their six-digit Bankline Mobile app key code to complete the process.

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Businesses can also authorise multiple users to set up payments, which owners can approve through their app, providing “additional flexibility and ease over payment management.”

The bank said it worked with external partners to ensure that the new feature is “completely secure” and complies fully with the forthcoming Payment Service Directive regulations that govern Secure Customer Authentication, due to come into effect later this year.

NatWest has initially rolled the feature out to iOS users, with availability on Android and other platforms expected to follow in the second half of 2019.

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“We know ease, speed, and security are important to our customers, and that’s why we’re excited to be the first UK bank to offer biometric payments of any size, through our Bankline Mobile app,” James Holian, chief operating officer for commercial and private banking at NatWest, said.

“By offering unprecedented levels of security via three levels of unique authentication, as well as the ability to make payments of any size, we feel this is another important innovation that will make it easier for our customers to get on with doing what they do best: running their business.”

In March, NatWest became the first British bank to trial a biometric card for personal customers, allowing transactions over £30 to be authenticated with a simple touch.