HSBC is offering more than 15 million of its customers a chance to use fingerprint or voice logins in the first major rollout of biometrics in the British banking sector.Customers from the bank's First Direct will be offered the voice and fingerprint recognition system over the next few weeks, followed by HSBC's in the summer.Nuance Communications Inc are supplying the voice biometrics technology which works by cross-checking against over 100 unique identifiers including both behavioural features such as speed, cadence and pronunciation, and physical aspects including the shape of larynx, vocal tract and nasal passages.Meanwhile, Touch ID is currently available on all Apple mobile devices for both HSBC and first direct. Customers need to download the mobile banking app and follow the instructions to link their fingerprint to it.Francesca McDonagh, HSBC UK's head of retail banking and wealth management, has described the offer which is being made to customers by the summer as “the largest planned roll out of voice biometric security technology in the UK”.She said: “The launch of voice and touch ID makes it even quicker and easier for customers to access their bank account, using the most secure form of password technology – the body.”Clayton Locke, chief technology officer at financial technology company Intelligent Environments, said however that biometrics is not a panacea.”Biometrics is a security technology that will bring many benefits and improved security to fintech in the UK. But it is not a silver bullet. Verifying a person's identity is a critical capability for a bank and for governments – and biometrics enable improved accuracy in that capability. But it will not permanently stop criminals from stealing identities and using these for their fraudulent purposes. Because biometrics have the potential to reduce the time taken to verify identity, and thereby can improve the online user experience, we will see increased adoption of biometrics in software as businesses seek to improve the online experience for their customers”.Locke added that wearables will play an increasingly important role in biometric payments:”It comes down to convenience. For example, when you make a purchase, would you like to know what your current account balance is? This is what we can do on a watch”. Enrolment for HSBC's voice ID will be available by first direct to customers in the coming weeks, followed by HSBC by the summer.Touch ID is currently available on all Apple mobile devices for both HSBC and first direct. Customers need to download the mobile banking app and follow the instructions to link their fingerprint to it.Some 38% of Britons who tend to use the same password across most of their online accounts while 55% say they rarely update their passwords, according to a YouGov poll released by the banks to coincide with the launch.It found that 78% of 2,038 adults questioned were confident their body is unique enough to be used as a password and that 74% felt this would become the default password of the future.Tracy Garrad, chief executive of first direct, said that voices and fingerprints are unique, with physical and behavioural characteristics being “almost impossible to mimic”.She said: “While this is the largest roll out of voice ID in the UK banking, other industries will soon follow our lead.”Martin Hummel, Voice Biometrics Consultant, Soitron UK said on the development: “Voice biometric security has been with us for a few years now, and while experts claim that it's the future of security, the reality is that the uptake has been relatively slow to date. However, it has the potential to replace the password or PIN-based identity verification, which we all acknowledge is antiquated and has many failings from both the business and consumer perspectives.” :