RBS has begun the roll-out of a new biometric payment system in what is a first of its kind trial for UK banks.
Working alongside VISA and German firm, Giesecke and Devrient Mobile Security, customers will be able to use a biometric finger scanner to make contactless payments without the need for a smartphone or bank card.
Initially, the bank revealed, some 250 customers will be given access to the new biometric tech, and trials will be conducted over the next three months.
The payment fob is roughly the same size as a standard keyring and has a built-in fingerprint reader which customers can use easily. The fob will be available for use at conventional contactless and chip and pin payment terminals, RBS said.
Customers can instantly pay up to £100 with the device – a marked increase on the previous contactless payment limit of £30.
Previously, RBS has trialled biometric bank cards that enabled customers to confirm purchases using fingerprints, and long-term, the bank hopes the new payment fob will improve security and simplify payments.
If a customer’s fob is lost or stolen, it cannot be used by anyone other than themselves for contactless transactions.
David Crawford, head of Royal Bank Effortless Payments, commented: “After the successful pilot of our biometric debit card we are looking at how we can further develop the technology and push the boundaries to integrate it into our customers’ everyday lives.”
RBS said that customers can enrol for the scheme in less than five minutes, with registration available from their mobile device.
VISA’s managing director for UK & Ireland, Jeni Mundy, added: “Following the launch of the UK’s first biometric debit card earlier this year, we are pleased to collaborate with NatWest on this pilot.
“Our research tells us that people have a strong interest in biometric technologies which can make their lives easier as well as increasing the security of their payments.”