iPhone X
South Korean banks are not pleased with the security concerns plaguing Apple’s iPhone X Face ID technology. Reuters/Thomas Peter

Looks like iPhone X users in South Korea won’t be able to use the smartphone’s Face ID technology when doing transactions in local banks. Apparently, Korean banks have rejected the idea of providing support for the 10th anniversary iPhone’s advanced biometric system. The banks’ decision reportedly comes after Face ID security concerns were reported.

On Monday, Korea Herald learned that Korean banks have rejected the facial recognition security feature of Apple’s iPhone X, such that the technology will not be usable when owners use mobile banking services. Financial industry insiders claim that Korean banks are apparently hesitant to accept Face ID after it was found out that some people were able to penetrate the new verification feature.

The iPhone X has yet to officially arrive in the South Korean market, but around 20 commercial and online banks have already decided to not provide support to the smartphone’s Face ID authentication feature. Had the banks approved Face ID, iPhone X users could have had access to a more convenient means of identity verification when logging in to their account.

The news comes after a couple of reports exposed some security concerns with iPhone X. For instance, there’s been a report about a researcher in Vietnam who managed to trick Face ID using a 3D-printed mask. There’s also a report on a boy who unlocked his mother’s iPhone X after just staring at it. Many other reports have raised hacking concerns with Apple’s facial recognition software.

A Korean bank official has explained the reason why they are not adopting Face ID for their mobile banking services. “It was difficult for us to adopt the biometric technology (of iPhone X) abruptly, since it normally takes some time to undergo several security procedures before adopting a new technology. Plus, the phone’s facial authentication technology was not fully proven,” the official said.

By the looks of things, it’s possible that South Korean banks could consider supporting Face ID in the future. Two local banks have already confirmed that they are in the process of reviewing Apple’s facial recognition solution for possible adoption in the future.

Preorders for iPhone X in South Korea just opened last Friday. The 10th anniversary iPhone is then scheduled to arrive in Samsung’s home country on Nov. 24. Korea Institute for Industrial Economics & Trade researcher Kim Jong-ki said it’s inevitable for banks to provide support for Face ID though they may not be prepared for the feature at the present time.

“Local banks are not yet prepared for the Face ID security feature. However, with the rise of iPhone X sales and its security technologies proven, banks will have to follow the digital trend,” he said.

For consumers who already preordered their iPhone X handsets, they may have to install and use several apps for mobile banking authentication. This gives Samsung patrons the upper hand, knowing that the latest Galaxy flagships — the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy Note 8 — don’t just have facial recognition, but also iris and fingerprint scanning technologies.

While South Korean banks are reluctant to adopt iPhone X’s Face ID technology, many other global banks have already confirmed support for the new technology. Banks in the U.K., Australia, New Zealand and Canada are providing support for Apple’s facial recognition technology.

For banks who have seen the significant potential of Face ID, they believe that they are offering a more secure way of logging in to mobile accounts than simply keying in passwords. “Authenticating to a banking website using facial recognition from a registered phone is much more secure than using a password, which is the most common method used amongst online banks,” Gartner analyst Avivah Litan told Tech Republic.