Lloyds customers will soon be able to use fingerprint and facial recognition technology to access their bank accounts. Lloyds, with its new upgrades, will be the first financial services firm in the U.K. to bring in Microsoft to strengthen consumer banking security.
Going forward, passwords and PINS will be displaced by features of Microsoft’s “Hello” service, which will “know” users as they log on. Lloyds will be piloting the service later this year — assuming a successful test, the service will roll out to their full customer base.
“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,” noted Ryan Asdourian, Windows and devices lead at Microsoft U.K.
The move follows other interesting takes on banking security. HSBC rolled out selfie-based security functions that allows customers to open new accounts more quickly and easily. Santander U.K. allows customers to make payments using their voices over the phone.
Banks, of late, are under tremendous pressure to both cut back on the overhead associated with branch banking and to digitize their offerings and services to make them more attractive when stacked against digitally-based competitors.
Over 1,000 branches have closed in the past two years in the U.K. to the end of December, with HSBC shutting the most outlets since the start of 2015.
Lloyds has also revealed plans to shrink branches down into “micro” versions staffed by as few as two people.