NatWest is testing payment FOBS – and customers don’t need their card or phone to use them – The Sun

NatWest customers may be able to shop using just a contactless fob in future as the bank is testing the new payment method – and you don't need a phone or card to use it.

To pay, you simply hold the fob against shops' in-store card readers and hold your thumb against a small window on the fob that picks up your thumbprint.

A light then indicates that your fingerprint has been matched successfully and the transaction will then go through.

The fact the fob uses biometric – or fingerprint technology – could make it safer to use than a credit card as if it's lost, fraudsters can't go on a spending rampage as your thumbprint is needed to verify every payment.

The fob can also be blocked using the bank's mobile app.

Another perk is that the fob will have a higher contactless payment limit of £100 per transaction compared to the typical £30 for cards.

And no hardware changes are needed for retailers to accept the fobs as they work at existing contactless and Chip and PIN terminals.

But the fob won't have your card details on it, so you'll still need your card to hand when making online or over the phone purchases.

You may also have to wait a while to get your hands on one as NatWest is currently trialling the scheme among just 250 current account customers.

These users are a mixture of NatWest customers in England and Wales and Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) customers in Scotland.

They've been picked at random and have already been notified that they're taking part.

Once their fob arrives, they'll just need to register it using their mobile phone.

NatWest says the biotmetric data is never shared with the retailer or the bank and is instead encrypted on the device itself.

The trial will begin from tomorrow and last for three months.

The banks, which are both part of the RBS Group, have already tested biometric debit cards, the results of which they're currently going through.

A biometric credit card trial is ongoing.

David Crawford, head of NatWest effortless payments, said: “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.”

NatWest and RBS came under fire last week after their online banking and app was down all day on Black Friday and payday.

In related news, biometric passports are to be made a requirement by Boris Johnson to tighten security at the border.

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