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Secure cardless online shopping trialled by NatWest

15 June 2018 - 08:56 by Graham Miller

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Customers of NatWest are now being given the option to carry out safe shopping online using nothing more than their fingerprint to verify payment, according to This Is Money.

This is achieved using an app and a compatible smartphone, rather than requiring consumers to enter all of their payment card details when they get to the checkout.

The good news is that it is not just phones with fingerprint scanners which are compatible, since the service also lets customers pay just by entering a unique password.

The main perk of this platform from the perspective of retailers is that it means that there is no need to hold onto private information provided by customers. This will improve security and limit the damage that can be done in the event of a breach.

For consumers the obvious advantage is that being able to pay with a fingerprint is quicker and more convenient than filling out extensive forms whenever they indulge in a little safe shopping online.

One problem that observers have identified with this solution is that it will not deliver the same protections on purchases that are available when paying via debit or credit card. So in the event that there are any problems with the order, or a customer is defrauded, then getting a refund may be more difficult.

Of course NatWest is currently in the process of working out just how viable and resilient this solution is, which means that it could afford users additional assurances about how their transactions will be protected before it rolls out on a wider scale.

Just as cash is becoming less common on the high street, the web could soon see the end of the reign of payment cards if this trend gains any momentum.