Facial Recognition for your phone

Facial Recognition

Wondering how facial recognition
technology works?


Find out how the newest mobile
security feature works and how
to set it up

Add your signposting title here… Find out more about the security of facial recognition

Apple’s Face ID, introduced on the iPhone X at the end of 2017, is the latest in biometric security technology. You can use Face ID and Touch ID with our mobile banking app.

 

App available to Online Banking customers with a UK or international mobile number in specific countries
 
Touch ID is available on selected Apple devices
How does biometric technology work?

Facial recognition is a type of biometric technology. Biometrics are physical human characteristics that can be used for security purposes.

If you use a fingerprint scanner to log into your phone, tablet or laptop, you already use biometric technology. Other biometrics include your voice and even the iris of your eye. Facial recognition is the latest biometric technology to become widely available.

Biometric security compares two complex patterns and calculates how similar they are. These are the steps your phone takes when you use Face ID or other biometric technology:

  1. You save a ‘pattern’ (such as your face) to your phone when setting up
  2. When you want to unlock your phone, it will compare the pattern you give to the one you saved
  3. The phone then scores the similarity, giving it a value from 0 to 1
  4. The closer the image is to 1, the more likely it is to be a match. If it’s 0 then it’s not the same person

 

Add your signposting title here… How does facial recognition work?

To get started you can “add” your face in the same way you add your fingerprint for Touch ID. Simply go to the settings menu of your phone and open ‘Face ID and Passcode’ and your phone will guide you through the process. 

During setup, the iPhone will use a combination of infrared light projectors and sensors to take several images of your facial features. Its light projector produces more than 30,000 dots of invisible infrared light to create a three-dimensional map of your facial landscape. The camera captures images of the dot pattern and the infrared light (a heat signature) that’s reflected by your face.

When you pick up your phone to unlock it, the technology compares the ‘live’ image – being picked up by the camera – to the image stored on your phone during setup. Because you unlock your phone in lots of different settings, it is hard for two images to match completely. To make sure your phone recognises you in different lights, and if you’re wearing eyewear for example, your phone uses a similarity score to decide whether the right person is using the phone.

Setting up Face ID

Setting up Face ID is really simple. Follow these steps to get started:

  1. Go into Settings and enter your passcode
  2. Position your face in front of your iPhone and tap Get Started
  3. Look straight into your iPhone, place your face inside the frame and gently move your head in a circle

You can use Face ID and Touch ID with our NatWest Mobile Banking app.

 

App available to Online Banking customers with a UK or international mobile number in specific countries
 
Touch ID is available on selected Apple devices
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