[Android] Biometric should fallback to PIN when it fails

Biometric, especially fingerprint, is not 100% reliable for example when your finger is wet.

Other apps handle this by giving you the option to switch to PIN or automatically switching to PIN after a number of failures.

At the moment the only option with Monzo is to log out. Monzo should give the option to switch to PIN.

This already exists on iOS.

I’m guessing you’re on Android? I think it’s handled at the OS level, so that’s why it’s only for iOS as security is handled better.

This is an Android request.

Just another feature missing from the app for Android. One day soon, it would be nice to just have every feature regardless of what OS you use

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If you search you’ll find the other requests for it. It’s not very popular so don’t get your hopes up.

We have a number of threads on this already too. The way Monzo do it on iOS I believe uses the iOS device passcode fallback, which isn’t the most seamless of methods when it comes to Touch ID, as the prompt only occurs after so many failed attempts. Face ID does too, except if it detects a mask it falls back instantly.

I think where the confusion stems though is that you don’t have to use the native fallback, and you can do something a little more seamless without much extra work. I’ll use a few gifs to explain what i mean.

Monzo’s implementation is fantastic if you’re using Face ID and wearing a mask. It’s the fastest way to get in. This is what that looks like:

Where it falls short is when your biometric sensor fails or isn’t as reliable. This is what that looks like with Monzo currently:

It’s this issue I believe @dominic2, and many of the other suggestions on this want addressing. There’s no reliable fallback here, nor one that can be manually activated like in other apps. To demonstrate what I mean here, I’ll use another gif of how Freetrade approaches this, which I believe is the sort of feature folk are requesting:
If the sensor fails, you’re presented with a cancel button, and can then enter a passcode. This is the approach most apps take. It’s not quite as seamless when wearing a mask though (But I believe it is possible to utilise both the native iOS fallback for masks, and the approach Freetrade take in this gif together).

There seems to be a lot of confusion when folk ask for this feature, and hopefully these gifs help to clear that up, because it’s a feature I want too.

Hi @dominic2, welcome to the community! This is a feature I want too! Other threads asking for this already exist and I’d recommend you vote on one of them here!

The latter is most appropriate, but to happen, the first one needs implementing too. Given the latter doesn’t have much traction, I’ll vote on your feature request here too and suggest you do the same. Hopefully a moderator can merge the threads.


On this one, if Face ID doesn’t recognise you, it does a little wobble, you press “try again” and then if that fails, the “Try again” is replaced with “enter passcode”

I agree, not very seamless!

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Touch ID should work the same way too! Not the most seamless, but it works. The issue is in other apps, the expected behaviour that’s been nurtured is to press cancel and then you enter the app passcode, which obviously won’t work with Monzo.

Not sure if Android does things the same way with their biometrics though. I’m going to guess not, which is why many apps rely on the cancel button ad having their own in app passcode for unlock. When it fails on Freetrade for instance, you don’t get the prompt to enter your iPhone passcode, only cancel, and it’s like that with a lot of apps.

Thanks Tom for the GIFs. The Freetrade example is closest. The two FRs you linked to are slightly different.

I’m specifically asking for Android:

  • you can already use a PIN to access the app
  • you can enable biometrics as an optional feature
  • however, when you enable biometrics, there’s no quick way to choose PIN and there’s no fallback to PIN in the cases when biometrics won’t work
  • FR: have a quick way to switch to PIN for accessing the Android app when biometrics is enabled (and, bonus, automatically fallback to PIN after X failed biometric attempts)
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I believe the just need to add


To the code and then android handles the failback to other device unlock methods

I’m not effectively locked out of my Monzo account as my finger print reader has failed 🤦

Any other bank account this wouldn’t be an issue as they do fall back to pin.

So now I need to shout at my android in the hope it decides to fix itself, failing that buying a cheap phone just to access my actual funds 🤷

Just realised if I uninstall the app that switches off the biometrics, so I’m in now :ok_hand:

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Your issue definitely shows the need for being able to fallback to PIN more gracefully. Clearing the data would also flip biometrics back to off but people shouldn’t have to figure that out (plus I can’t imagine most people knowing how to).

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I have just tested this with three of my other accounts, so far,

First Direct : prompt you to enter digital password

Halifax: Take you to “memorable information” if fingerprint not recognised. However, if you try to cancel at bio stage, it just scrolls back to bio prompt :thinking::man_shrugging:

Nationwide: Straight to prompt for digits from your passcode

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I have 0 banking apps or in fact any other app on my phone that won’t allow me to fall back to pin just like that. In fact all the ones I’ve got, now my fingerprint doesn’t work, they just fall back instantly without seeing a biometric prompt.

Edit - Tandem doesn’t fall back to a pin, it fires up logged out and then asks me for my phone number which then texts an access pin. Not ideal but it works fast enough.