Saturday, 04 November 2017 12:37

Westpac among first to launch iPhone X Face ID support, still no Apple Pay

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Apple's newest biometric security feature, Face ID, has quickly been supported by Westpac with version 8.2 of its iOS app, but the Apple Pay delay continues its Groundhog Day.

Proud of its quick action to launch iPhone X Face ID support, Westpac's general manager of Consumer Digital, Travis Tyler, has written a blog post entitled "Face ID today, digital DNA tomorrow."

Missing from that headline is "and Apple Pay" in between "digital DNA" and "tomorrow" but with Westpac, CBA (which has also launched Face ID support) and NAB in a digital payments showdown against the world's most popular consumer electronics company Apple, customers of those banks with Apple Pay compatible devices just have to wait.

Tyler explains below that FaceID will also extend to Westpac's other banking brands, St.George, BankSA and Bank of Melbourne, but only the Westpac app lists Face ID support in its "what's new" description at the iTunes Store as of publication.  

So, what did Tyler have to say in his blog post?

He starts off by stating that when he thinks "about emerging technologies, it’s lately been a little, shall we say, left field".

Perhaps Tyler needs to read a little more science fiction, or maybe go even further left field and support Apple Pay, but hey, let's not get ahead of ourselves – even though we get a head of Tyler in the image a little below.

Tyler continued: "For example, I’m a big believer that “augmented reality” could explode by bringing digital and physical experiences together. This would potentially accelerate the next surge in e-commerce as consumers see how a couch would fit into their room or feel how a car drives. But I’d also be able to see if that T-shirt for sale made me look like Sheldon Cooper out of The Big Bang Theory…"

"It may sound a tad bizarre," added Tyler, "but actually not that far away as technology advances hit the market at an exponential rate."

Here's Tyler getting his Face ID'd with a bit of digital mischief, the article continues below.

 

"Yesterday," explained Tyler, "Westpac supported Apple’s launch of Face ID technology for the new iPhone X, allowing customers to log in to our mobile banking apps across all brands, Westpac, St.George, BankSA and Bank of Melbourne. We may also update our banking apps to support facial recognition for Android in the future if that becomes available."

Tyler then said: "Our customers want simpler, faster log ins when banking on the go."

Quite why Tyler doesn't want his Apple owning customers to have "simpler, faster" payment methods "when banking on the go" like at payment terminals at supermarkets when paying for stuff, using Apple Pay technology, isn't explained, but I guess I can only harp on about this for so long before you'll simply move onto the next sentence (although I do continue "paying" Westpac out about it). 

Tyler then states that: "The uptake of fingerprint log in for supported devices has only continued to grow, particularly among millennials, as the technology becomes more readily available. Now it’s the next evolution of biometrics in banking, where customer interactions are less about what they can remember and more about who they are.

"It’s only likely to further grow as data is opened up. The next phase will involve how your digital foot print is becoming your digital DNA, with you everywhere you go and helping keep your data and money safe.

"We’re always working on trying to provide and support the best technology for customers to ensure they have a more personalised, easier and secure digital experience. Interestingly, facial ID may be more secure than Touch ID, which on Apple’s numbers has a 1 in 50,000 chance of being compromised, versus Face ID at a 1 in 1,000,000 chance."

Tyler imagines: "That’s probably because your eyes need to be open and looking towards your phone for Face ID to work (you can’t be asleep), and the technology maps the geometry of your face and adapts to changes in appearance, helping to protect against the use of print or 2D digital photographs. And no, we don’t store any Face ID information, the phone does."

Tyler concludes by stating: "It’s an exciting development and just one of many we have planned catering to customers’ needs.

"Personally, a technology I’d love in my life is an automatic reminder being set up on my device when I think about something I have forgotten. Too out there?"

Hey, Travis Tyler. You've forgotten Apple Pay, which really is "out there" and completely unacceptable. Here's your wake-up call.

Also, for all those reading, you can avail yourself of the "Apple Face ID Security Guide", a very interesting six-page PDF worth downloading.

In his bio, Tyler says he "leads all things digital for Westpac Group’s consumer brands."

He say he is "an advocate for seamless digital experiences" and is "always looking to the next wave of innovation", but doesn't advocate for "seamless digital experiences" with Apple Pay or he'd write a blog post about it and bust a gut getting his bosses to do something about it, like supporting it.

Tyler does, after all, draw on "a dynamic range of skills; with over 20 years’ experience including senior positions in Finance, Product and Operations", to which he can now include "and over two years of experience ignoring Apple Pay".

Travis lives in Bronte with his wife Christine, daughter Violet, and the family dog, Bernard, where there would be plenty of stores and cafes that would happily accept Westpac customers using Apple Pay if only Westpac supported it.

Travis notes his love of staying "fit and healthy" and catching "the occasional wave", but for now, the Apple Pay wave is here, and he's missing it.

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