Banks warn users of Apple’s Touch ID that storing partners’ or spouses’ fingerprints will be seen as ‘you failing to keep your details safe’
Banks have warned customers that if they store other people’s fingerprints on their iPhones they will be treated as if they have failed to keep their personal details safe.
This means the bank can decline to refund disputed transactions or to help where customers claim they have been victims of fraud.
The banks’ position, typically buried in the detail of bank account Ts & Cs, could trip up spouses, couples, parents and children, for example, where multiple fingerprints have been stored on a phone in order for it to be used by other family members.
This is because Touch ID – Apple’s process of storing encrypted finger prints – works to unlock phones, as well to authorise payments through Apple Pay.
It comes as growing numbers of consumers embrace Apple Pay to make payments at shops, bars, restaurants and on public transport.
The Apple Pay system was launched in Britain in July.
When the phone is near the payment point, the user’s bank card – which has been previously set up in Apple’s electronic “wallet” – flashes up on the phone screen. The user then authorises the payment by placing his or her registered finger on the phone’s scanner.
The process takes seconds, or even less, and is thought to be highly secure, as payments will only be made where a fingerprint has been scanned and verified.
Most models of iPhone carrying the Touch ID facility allow up to 10 prints to be stored, meaning users have plenty of opportunity to register family members’ prints on their device.
But banks are effectively warning customers that if they want to use Apple Pay, other people’s prints need to be deleted.
Santander, NatWest and Royal Bank of Scotland customers were the first to be able to use their accounts with Apple Pay, with HSBC and First Direct joining later July, the month the system first became available.
Lloyds, Halifax and Bank of Scotland customers were able to use the service from September.
Barclays, which was the only major UK bank not to partner with Apple Pay, has since announced a collaboration is coming “in the future”.
Lloyds Bank said: “If Touch ID is available on your device, you must ensure you only register your own fingerprints (and not anyone else’s).”