What are biometrics?

Biometrics use physical or behavioural characteristics to verify a person's identity, such as fingerprints and facial recognition.

To increase security on your account in our app, we can use facial recognition to check it's you - this is account biometrics. You may also have device biometrics set up.

Device biometrics

Log in and approve payments

Instead of your passnumber, you can use your device's face or fingerprint recognition to log in and make small payments.

Account biometrics

An extra layer of security in the app

Secure your account by taking a photo of your face to create a digital map. This means we can trust your passnumber or device biometrics to do more in the app without a card reader.

How do we use facial recognition to confirm it's you?

We work with our trusted security partner, Mitek, to use facial recognition technology in the Banking app. We'll take a photo of your face and Mitek will analyse and map your unique features to confirm your identity.

It's a bit like your face is your password.

How it works

  • When you set up account biometrics, our Banking app will take your photo
  • With your consent it's sent to Mitek, who will use face detection technology to capture your facial features
  • This creates a digital map of your face and is securely stored with Mitek
  • In future, if we need to make extra sure it's really you, we can take another photo
  • Mitek will compare it to their digital map of your face

Once this is set up, you won't need your card reader to make payments in the app.

In fact, you'll approve most payments with just your passnumber or device biometrics (Face ID or Touch ID).

Setting up biometrics in the Banking app

We are in the process of rolling this out to our current account customers. If you’re eligible, the steps to set up account biometrics are in the app. Here is where you should start from and what you'll need to complete the process.

Find Pay without card reader

Go to Settings. If you’re eligible, you’ll see Pay without card reader listed under the Accounts heading.

What you'll need

A plain background and a well-lit space to take a photo of your face.

You may also need your account card and card reader (just this once to set it up).

Follow the on-screen instructions

In the app, you'll be given instructions on how to take your photo and submit it.

Keeping your personal information safe

When it comes to our customer's personal information, we make sure we use it appropriately and keep it safe.


When setting up facial recognition in the Banking app, we'll take a photo of your face. This photo is used to create a digital biometric map of your face. The original photo is kept for 7 days by Mitek and is then deleted. They'll keep the digital map for verifying it's you.

If you want to find out more about how Mitek use and store your information, check Mitek’s privacy policy (opens in a new window).


For now, Nationwide doesn't keep any photo or digital mapping of your face.

If you want to learn more about how we use your personal information, check our data privacy policy statement.

Why are we working with Mitek?

Mitek are identity verification experts, we use their technology to confirm it's you managing your accounts.

The security of our customer's personal information is essential to us. That's why we only work with trusted suppliers. Mitek provide identity verification for organisations all over the world including UK banks.

Questions you may have