Retail and commercial bank NatWest has announced the launch of a new biometric payment approval feature which uses biometric authentication in a UK first.

The new tech will allow business and commercial banking customers to make payments of any size through an app using the iPhone’s built in facial recognition technology ‘Face ID’ or fingerprint technology ‘Touch ID’, without the need for a card reader.

The new feature also allows businesses to authorise multiple users to setup payments, which business owners can then subsequently approve on the go through their app.

The lender is initially rolling the improvement out to the Apple iOS platform, with availability on Android and other platforms expected to follow in the second half of the year.

“We know that ease, speed and security are important to our customers, and that’s why we’re excited to be the first UK bank to offer biometric payments of any size, through our Bankline Mobile app,” said James Holian, Chief Operating Officer, Commercial and Private Banking, NatWest.

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“By offering unprecedented levels of security via three levels of unique authentication, as well as the ability to make payments of any size, we feel this is another important innovation that will make it easier for our customers to get on with doing what they do best: running their business.”

In March Natwest announced that they were the first UK bank to launch a biometric card for personal customers, allowing payment of transactions over £30 with a simple touch of the card.