Lloyds Bank, Halifax and Bank of Scotland online banking customers will soon be able to use facial recognition technology for login instead of passwords with Microsoft Hello

Lynsey Barber
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No more remembering passwords with facial recognition (Source: Getty)

Lloyds is the latest bank to jump on the biometric bandwagon with new plans to let users login simply by showing their face to a camera.

Online banking for customers of Lloyds, Halifax and Bank of Scotland will now come with a new security option that replaces a password with a selfie or a fingerprint.

The bank has partnered with Microsoft to offer Windows Hello to users of Surface tablets and Windows 10 PCs and smartphones.

Read more: Pay by selfie: Mastercard brings biometric technology to the UK

“With customer experience and security at the forefront of our minds, we are keen to run this pilot to explore the new functionality Windows Hello could give our customers," said the bank's operating chief for digital transformation Gill Wylie.

Lloyds is the fist bank in the UK to use the Microsoft technology, but several other financial institutions are working on their own technology for biometric security.

Mastercard brought its "pay by selfie" tech to the UK last year and is said to be in discussions with banks to add this form of authentication for customers making payments.

Customers of HSBC can use a selfie to confirm their identification as well as fingerprints and voices to login. Barclays is also using voice recognition while Nationwide is testing out behavioural biometrics - verifying who you are based on how you use your phone.

Read more: Passwords are passe: Nationwide is testing behavioural biometrics

As for Lloyds, it says the technology differs from some other facial recognition methods, taking in data points from people's faces rather than simply matching a photo taken to one on record. Customers will start trialling it in the second half of the year, before the bank considers whether to go ahead with a full roll out of the technology or not.

“With more than 400m active users of Windows 10 able to take advantage of Windows Hello, it’s great to see a major financial services institution looking at how it can apply this technology to transform the customer experience," said Ryan Asdourian, Microsoft UK's windows and devices lead.

“Windows Hello enables users to log in to a Windows device in less than two seconds and this use of advanced biometric technology will provide Lloyds Banking Group customers with a more seamless and frictionless experience without compromising security.”

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