TSB customers will soon be able to access their mobile banking app by scanning their eye using a smartphone camera, as the lender becomes the first in Europe to introduce the biometric technology.
Iris recognition is the most secure form of identification currently available and the human eye is far more unique to each individual than a fingerprint, according to the lender. It also means customers will be able to access accounts simply by looking at their phones, with no need to enter an ID or password.
The new feature will initially only be available to customers with a Samsung Galaxy S8 or S8+, both of which are equipped with the technology.
Iris scanners are expected to become common features in the next generation of smartphones but have yet to have much success.
The Galaxy Note 7 was the first to incorporate an iris scanner but dozens of the phones caught fire, eventually forcing Samsung to recall the product completely. Its replacement, the S8, launched earlier this year.
Cyber security experts have warned that while the biometric features are a positive step, they can still be compromised.
German hackers were recently able to trick a Samsung Galaxy S8's iris scanner with a picture of the device owner's eye and a contact lens.
Etienne Greeff, co-founder of cyber security firm SecureData, told the Press Association that the implications for consumers, should their account be hacked, could be long-lasting.
“What happens when your biometric security settings are hacked? You can't change your voice, you can't replace your eyes, you can't reset your fingerprints,” he said.
“It's good to see businesses like TSB looking to replace passwords, which are flimsy and easily breached, but hackers are wise to biometrics and it won't stop them from trying to get their hands on your data.”
TSB's chief information officer Carlos Abarca said: “Iris recognition allows you to unlock your TSB mobile app with a simple glance, meaning all of those IDs, passwords and memorable information become a thing of the past”.
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