Now Nationwide is testing behavioural biometrics instead of pins and passwords for logging on to online banking

 
Lynsey Barber
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The way you hold your phone could be a way of verifying you're you (Source: Getty)

Pins and passwords are so passe.

Nationwide is the latest financial institution to explore new ways of verification and authentication, testing out a new method of accessing your bank account based on how you use your phone - from the way you hold it to the speed you type.

And with 70 per cent of us saying we struggle to remember passwords (let's just blame digital amnesia, ok?), it's no wonder tech boffins are trying to find a better way.

Read more: Say cheese for cheese: Amazon wants to own pay-by-selfie tech

In the building society's innovation lab, what's called behavioural biometrics - essentially the ways we interact with out phone that are unique to us - is being trialled as a new method of keeping our information secure.

The prototype has been developed with fintech startup Behaviosec (recently named one of the 50 hottest fintech startups) and IT firm Unisys, after around three to six months of development.

"Behavioural biometrics monitor the patterns and habits that are unique to each mobile banking user - everyone holds and interacts with their mobile device in a different way. The prototype provides an exciting insight into what the future may hold, as we investigate new ways to enhance security while offering an improved mobile banking experience," said Nationwide's head of innovation James Smith.

Read more: Soon selfies and Tinder could replace your banking password

The next step is looking at how it may potentially be incorporated into real customer's login process, alongside passwords and other biometrics such as fingerprints for authentication.

According to Nationwide's survey, 60 per cent of people believe there will be retina scanners built in to phones within the next 10 years, while 30 per cent think a whole face scan will unlock phones.

Nationwide isn't the only one betting on biometrics. HSBC and First Direct customers will soon be able to get access via voice and fingerprint recognition, as will customers of new digital bank Atom. Meanwhile, Amazon patented its own technology that would let you pay by selfie.

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