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What is biometric?

Please see below for our FAQs on biometric.

Why can’t I register for biometric approval?

This service is being rolled out to our mobile customers. Continue to use your Mobile App as normal and we'll prompt you when its available to you.

This service is not available to customers under the age of 16.

I failed to register my face biometric, how can I improve my chances?

There are a few steps to improve your chances of registering your face biometric:

  • Keep your device upright and out in front of you, with your face in the frame
  • Don’t let anything cover your face, like sunglasses, hats, or even your hands and hair
  • Choose a well, evenly lit space and a neutral background.

I failed to use my face biometric, how can I improve my chances?

There are a few steps you can take to improve your chances of using your face biometric:

  • Keep your device upright and out in front of you, with your face in the frame
  • Don’t let anything cover your face, like sunglasses, hats, or even your hands and hair
  • Choose a well, evenly lit space and a neutral background
  • If you wear glasses, try removing them to allow the phone to see you blinking
  • Don’t forget to blink – it can help to over emphasise the blink so we definitely see it.

When can I approve with biometrics?

You’ll eventually be able to use your biometrics to approve payments, set up payees and make changes to your details like a change of address. But these will be introduced over time. When they are, you’ll be:

  • Replacing the need to use a Card Reader while using Online Banking
  • Making payments over £1000 to someone new in the mobile app

How does biometric approval work?

When we ask you to use your biometrics to approve something, we’re checking that it’s really you. You will be asked to present your face to the camera and then blink. We compare the sample you provide to the one that we have stored on our servers. If it’s a match you can then carry on and finish what you were doing.

What if I don’t want to use biometrics?

That’s okay, you can continue to use the same approval methods, such as the Card Reader, to authenticate your identity.

Where is my biometric data stored?

We have a Secure Banking Promise to you that means protecting your device and details. Your biometric identity is part of that. We’ll encrypt and store your biometrics within a strong and secure NatWest International database that no other business or individual can access.

How long is my biometric data stored for?

We keep your biometric data with your consent. We‘ll ask you to reconsent either 2 years after you last provided it, or if we make any changes to our privacy notice. We’ll provide you a window of opportunity to reconsent. If you don’t, we’ll automatically remove your biometric data.

What’s the difference between these biometrics for the NatWest International app and Touch or Face ID?

When you record your fingerprint or face with your device, the fingerprint / face biometric stays in a secure area of that specific device and provides a useful alternative to the traditional passcode / password.

By registering your face biometric with the NatWest International app we can match any future authentication attempts on any of your registered devices directly against what we’ve got stored on our servers.

Is my phone compatible for biometric approval?

We’ve made it easy. All you need is a forward-facing camera for face biometrics.

There are a limited number of devices that can on sometimes struggle to register or use your face biometric. This is because the device doesn’t have enough processing power or memory.

There are also a limited number of Android devices that we can’t support. If your device is affected by this, you won’t see the biometric approval feature.

What if I change or lose my phone?

Don’t panic. As the biometric is securely stored within NatWest International servers and not on the individual app, there’s no potential data loss from losing your phone.

When you set up the NatWest International app on a new phone, you’ll be asked to match your face to those that we hold. Then, you’ll be ready to carry on using your biometrics to confirm it’s really you.

What happens if I change the way I look?

If you grow your hair long or cut it all off, even if you grow a beard, the technology is looking at the features of your face and the relative positioning to each other. It turns this into a template that we use to match against, so please feel free to be you.

In the unlikely event you do feel a change to how you look requires you to record an updated face biometric with us, then please first remove the existing face biometric and register a new one.

Can someone just use a photo of me?

No. The biometric process is sophisticated and secure behind the scenes. It’s not just ‘a photo’. So, don’t worry about someone using a photo to try and match to your face biometric.

What if I decide I don’t want to use my biometrics anymore?

They’re your biometrics, and you are in control. Simply go to ‘Biometric approval’ in the settings section of the app and select ‘Remove biometrics’. You’ll then be asked one last time to confirm it is really you by using your face and that’s it. Your biometrics will then be removed from our servers.