Banks pull mobile apps from Google Play

Banks worldwide have withdrawn fingerprint authentication for Samsung flagship phones

Leading banks have removed their mobile apps from the Google Play Store for Samsung Galaxy S10 users, citing concerns over fingerprint security.

NatWest, Nationwide and the Royal Bank of Scotland in the UK have disabled access to the app. Elsewhere the Bank of China and Bank Hapoalim in Israel have pulled the plug on Google Play for these users.

Security is not just an issue for banks. Alipay and WeChat have also disabled the fingerprint payment method on Samsung's flagship phones. Between them they hold more than 90 per cent of the mobile payments market in China.

The news follows the discovery of a flaw in the Galaxy S10 and Galaxy Note 10 fingerprint reader. It enables anyone to unlock devices if the display is covered with a screen protector.

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Samsung has acknowledged the problem. “If you’ve used a screen cover, such as silicone cover with a textured surface on the inside, the texture itself may be recognised as a fingerprint that can unlock your phone,” it said.

The electronics company said it will issue a software patch to S10 users.

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