Banks are blacklisting Galaxy S10 due to the fingerprint fiasco

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Samsung phones have had to undergo several design changes in order to accommodate more display real estate in a compact body, among them, reducing the size of the bottom bezel at the expense of the front-mounted hardware fingerprint scanner.

The Galaxy S8 and S8+ were the first to pick up the rear-mounted fingerprint scanner from Samsung and were joined by the Galaxy Note 8, Galaxy S9 duo, and the Note 9 in late 2018.

However, Samsung faced serious backlash over the placement of the scanner with some fans demanding something more novel, namely under-display fingerprint scanner.

galaxy_s8_front_back
The placement of the fingerprint scanner on the Galaxy S8 wasn’t well received

The switch to an under-display fingerprint scanner had to wait until the arrival of the Galaxy S10 earlier this year, with Samsung opting for the more secure and accurate ultrasonic fingerprint scanner instead of the optical sensor that came out in early 2018.

In fact, this supposedly secure and more accurate sensor is the reason the wait had to take a year after the first device with an under-display scanner came to life.

But soon after the S10 was unveiled, it was determined that a 3D printed fingerprint of the owner can easily fool the allegedly secure sensor into granting anyone access to the device.

Even more worrying is that recently, it emerged that slapping a silicon case on the Galaxy S10 messed up with the fingerprint authentication system of the phone, allowing anyone access to not just the S10, but also the Note 10 devices that have this same sensor on board.

On the brighter side, Samsung was quick to acknowledge the flaw and provide an equally quick fix to the issue via a software update. But even with this move, it appears that some banking institutions are taking extra measures to ensure their customers don’t fall victim to this security flaw.

Can’t even access online banking using the S10 (NatWest UK) is the security issue really this bad.
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Apparently, some Redditors can confirm that banking institutions in the UK such as NatWest and Nationwide Building Society are blacklisting the Galaxy S10 and S10+ from using their Android banking apps to carry out transactions.

NatWest-Bank-UK
NatWest UK

Nationwide still let’s me access but recommends that I remove my fingerprint. I’m on an s10e, is the security issue just for the in display scanners?
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While some banks are denying Galaxy S10 users access to their mobile apps via the Play Store, others are opting for a more realistic option of disabling the fingerprint authentication option in their apps.

My bank just removed the fingerprint quick access to the app temporarily.
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Same for me with my bank app in Israel, but mine only disabled login by FP and they are right to do so.
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Besides the UK, someone in Israel also reports that their banking app just lost the option to authorize transactions using the fingerprint scanner. Although it seems some users of the same NatWest app, for instance, are still able to use the fingerprint scanner for transactions.

It’s great to see that banks are taking extra precautions to protect their customers against the Galaxy S10 fingerprint security flaw, but be sure to grab the promised software update that will hopefully address the issue permanently.

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Hillary Keverenge

A techy. Besides phones, I also enjoy the farm, music, football, and, of course, food.