Why your bank’s app might not work on the Galaxy S10

Some banking institutions have disabled access to home banking from all S10 family devices to prevent anyone from accessing the account

The recent discovery that anyone can unlock a Samsung Galaxy S10 with their fingerprint (even if unregistered) if the device has been covered with an anti-scratch film, has sent several owners of this smartphone into a bit of a panic.

But since the risk is serious and the flaw is confirmed by Samsung itself some banking institutions around the world have started restricting access to their respective online banking apps to these devices. Most of the apps that no longer work on Samsung Galaxy S10 are from banks in the United Kingdom, where the case broke out following an article in the popular newspaper The Sun. But interventions are also reported from Israeli and South Korean banks. In Italy, however, at the moment no bank seems to have taken the problem seriously and Samsung Galaxy S10s still work with all online banking apps.

The Korean electronics giant has announced that it will release a software fix within this week, so any inefficiencies should last very little. It can't be ruled out that, at least temporarily, some Italian bank apps will also be updated so that they can't work with Samsung's top of the line or, at the very least, so that they don't accept the fingerprint as an authentication mechanism.

The defect also on the Notes

The problem lies entirely in the ultrasonic sensor mounted on Samsung Galaxy S10 as a biometric identification mechanism. It is a sensor integrated into the screen, which detects the fingerprint by emitting ultrasound and capturing the rebound. The same sensor has been mounted on several devices: Galaxy S10, Galaxy S10+, Galaxy S10 5G, but also on Galaxy Note 10 and Galaxy Note 10+. If you have one of these devices, the advice is not to use glass protector films except the official ones from Samsung. Otherwise, anyone who managed to get hold of your smartphone could easily unlock it and access all your data and all your apps, including the one from the online bank.

Is it really that bad?

After the article of the English newspaper on the Internet a debate started, because it would seem that the lady who discovered the Galaxy S10 fingerprint sensor defect committed a serious naivety: she would have registered the fingerprint after mounting the protective film. According to some users, this defect does not occur if the fingerprint is registered without the film, while others claim to have encountered it in both cases.