Apple Pay warning: Storing your partner’s fingerprints is like ‘giving away your Pin
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 refuse to help where customers claim they have been victims of fraud.
Extract from the Ts & Cs applying to debit and credit card customers of First Direct. The same terms apply to customers of HSBC
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 throughApple Pay.
It comes as growing numbers of consumers embrace Apple Pay to make payments at shops, bars, restaurants and on public transport.
The Touch ID scanner is built into the base of the iPhone’s screen, and allows easy unlocking of the phone Photo: Apple
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.
This gives users 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.
The quote, left, comes from the Ts & Cs applying to Lloyds customers, which read in full: “If Touch ID is available on your device, you must ensure you only register your own fingerprints (and not anyone else’s).”
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”.
When asked about the wording of its Apple Pay warning, HSBC toldTelegraph Money: “Our customers’ financial safety and security is of the utmost importance to us, as such we advise all our customers to keep their details as secure as possible.
“This means not sharing their Pin or in the case of Apple Pay not letting others access their phone.”
But the bank added: “We will always endeavour to help our customers should they become a victim of fraud.”