Samsung has been working on making iris scanning a big feature in smartphones for about a year now. And now it is working with Bank of America on piloting iris scanning for authentication. Samsung first put an iris scanner on the Galaxy Note 7 last year, before its demise, then continued to put them in the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus this year, many expect it to be present on the upcoming Galaxy Note 8 as well. It's said that iris scanning – where it scans your eyes to authenticate you – is more secure than a fingerprint sensor. Since fingerprint sensors can easily be fooled. Iris scanners aren't new in the banking world, but it is new in the mobile world.
Now where Bank of America is in the early stages of this pilot program with Samsung, it means that it'll likely be quite a while before you are able to login to your Bank of America app on your Galaxy S8 with your eyes. Bank of America is going to be doing plenty of testing, as you'd expect from a bank like this. As the company doesn't want to make it easier for hackers to get into your account, in fact it wants to do just the opposite.
Bank of America says that around half of its app users are using fingerprints to login to its app on both Android and iOS. It rolled out this functionality back in 2015. At first only working with Samsung's fingerprint sensors until Google added the Fingerprint API with Android Marshmallow in 2015, then it was available for all Android devices running Marshmallow or later. Bank of America is now working on using facial and voice recognition for authenticating users. However, iris scanning may be the winner here. According to research done by Javelin Strategy & Research, more users would prefer iris scanning over voice and facial recognition, and fingerprint sensors are the number one way for authentication. Of course, this could change once all four methods are openly available to everyone. Facial recognition will need to get much more secure before banks will utilize it in its apps for authentication though.