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RBS and NatWest add Touch ID to banking apps

The Royal Bank of Scotland and NatWest have both added Apple's Touch ID as a new way to sign-in to online banking (opens in new tab).

RBS is the first bank - along with its subsidiary - to offer Touch ID as a form of signing-in on iOS in the UK. Other banks like Halifax and Santander have not shown any interest in the fingerprint technology.

"There has been a revolution in banking, as more and more of our customers are using digital technology to bank with us," says Stuart Haire, managing director of RBS and NatWest Direct Bank. "Adding Touch ID to our mobile banking app makes it even easier and more convenient for customers to manage their finances on the move and directly responds to their requests."

Having Touch ID available removes the need to remember long passwords or auto-generated usernames, or in the case of Santander special pictures and words.

Apple launched Touch ID back in 2013, as a key feature for the iPhone 5S. It has been added to the iPhone 6, 6 Plus, iPad Air 2 and Mini 3 since, but the iPad lacks some of the NFC features.

Several banking firms in the U.S. jumped onto Touch ID quickly, including American Express and Bank of America, but it did not receive the same applause in the UK.

Third-party apps like Amazon, Evernote and Dropbox have all added support for Touch ID, providing additional app-based security.

In retail, McDonalds, Foot Locker and Disney support Touch ID in the U.S., but again the UK has been lacking in early adopters.

The same issue appears to be happening with the rollout of Apple Pay, according to reports one UK bank is not willing to support the mobile payments service.

David has been a technology journalist for over six years, covering a wide range of sectors. He currently researches apps, app sectors and app markets for Business of Apps, and has written for ITProPortal, RTInsights, ReadWrite, and Digital Trends.