Customers of Westpac and its subsidiaries will be able to use Apple’s Face ID service to log in to mobile banking apps.
The bank said that customers of Westpac, St.George, BankSA and Bank of Melbourne will be able to use the iPhone X’s new biometric authentication service.
Westpac was pipped at the post by the Commonwealth Bank, which last week claimed to be the first Australian bank to support Face ID.
The new iPhone feature relies on an infrared emitter and sensor, dubbed TrueDepth, to paint 30,000 points of infrared light on a user’s face.
Apple has said that there is a 1 in 50,000 of an individual being able to bypass a handset or service secured with its fingerprint-based Touch ID system; the odds for Face ID are 1 in 1,000,000 according to the iPhone-maker.
Westpac says it will consider bringing support for face-based authentication to its Android apps if Google’s mobile platform adds support for a Face ID-style service.
“Our customers want simpler, faster log ins when banking on the go,” Westpac’s general manager, consumer digital, Travis Tyler, wrote in a blog entry.
“The uptake of fingerprint log in for supported devices has only continued to grow, particularly among millennials, as the technology becomes more readily available,” Tyler wrote.
“Now it’s the next evolution of biometrics in banking, where customer interactions are less about what they can remember and more about who they are. It’s only likely to further grow as data is opened up. The next phase will involve how your digital foot print is becoming your digital DNA, with you everywhere you go and helping keep your data and money safe.”
Westpac along with the Commonwealth Bank and NAB are sponsoring a joint venture aimed at challenging Apple Pay.
The banks late last month revealed details of the joint venture, the first product of which is a payment app for iOS and Android called Beem.
The new app has been described as an alternative for small businesses to using merchant credit card facilities or sending invoicing. Beem could also be used as an easy way to split bills, according to the trio.