Monzo Labs: Android Biometric Prompt (Face Unlock!)

:wave: Hi! I’m Guille, Android Engineer at Monzo.

I want to update you on the status of the support of Face Unlock capabilities from Pixel 4 and other devices. We have been testing this internally and, although it’s not 100% done, we are making it available early through Monzo Labs. :test_tube: This feature has been requested a lot in the community so we thought we could share it for those of you super eager to try it out! :eyes:

If you head over to Monzo Labs and tap Use new biometrics, then restart the app, you will be using it right away! :rocket:

You will be able to authorise payments or see your card number by just… well, looking at your phone! If you are using a phone with fingerprint reader, that will also work but have an updated interface :sunglasses:

Let us know what you think and report anything that does not feel right!

EDIT: This will only work if your device supports biometric authentication! Some devices allow you to unlock your phone with your camera, but this is not biometric-based, and thus not secure enough.


Have just had a play, looks good so far. Is this only for the payment authorisation/card number pieces? i.e. not available for “unlocking” the app?

Also, what is the difference between the biometrics flow that requires tapping “confirm” button versus auto confirming? I think for things like viewing card number, having it scan and auto confirm would be less friction. For payments I could see benefit in having to tap confirm though.

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Not working on Pixel 4XL (can’t he turned on).
Go into settings in app, toggle the use face/finger print option and get told I need to add one. Click the provided link to settings which confirm s my face is active.

Fixed, turns out I hadn’t enabled it for payments and app sign in in Android. Arghhhhh why can’t they (Google) split that into 2 options I don’t want it enabled for payments.

Where’d the setting for hiding the contents of the Monzo app on the multi tasking screen go?

Not sure what the compatible devices are but doesn’t work on OP7Pro. Wording in settings is updated but get the following when making a payment and the pop-up front-facing camera doesn’t trigger (app has camera permissions) :

Didn’t have opportunity to test while in app, like payments, etc. But it’s not working when opening the app at least!

Found a :bug:
Pressing see my card number, but then choosing to cancel, causes you to see a blank and slightly transparent screen, where you then have to press back again.

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Yes I tried too. I just got my pixel 4 as well. It will be great if the app can locked with face unlock too like before.

Thanks for the bug report! Noted down :eyes:


Hi! The “app lock” functionality is not part of these changes - even if it looks like it’s basically the same thing, under the hood things are a little different.

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:thinking: good point about the hiding app setting, I’ll have a look at that on Monday!


:male_detective:‍♂ very odd, the pictogram looks like the in-screen fingerprint reader, not a face unlock. We tell Google’s library to use biometric authentication, but not which one to use. It could be that some configuration makes it prefer the fingerprint reader. Will have a look!


Coming soon?

For a little bit of context, (I have a OnePlus 7T Pro which is very similar to the 7 Pro):

I am sure I have read somewhere (can’t find it anywhere now), that the face unlock feature only works for unlocking as it is using the camera and not an optical sensor. It has also been fooled with a picture. I am wondering if it is “advertising” face unlock to the biometrics API

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Doesnt seem to work on my Huawei P20 Pro. Enables ok but still only accepts fingerprint auth

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My guess is that OP7 is a bit different in requiring a pop-up

Agreed, 7T Pro also ain’t working with Mozo Face Unlock.

Hi @guille, would it be possible to set the following? I really don’t want to hit confirm every time I use face unlock.


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Hi! This is something that has been requested several times so we will have a look at it. Sometimes it will make sense to require it, some others won’t. However the main priority is still to get it working everywhere :blush:

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On Samsung S8, I can’t use face recognition

If I try to enable face/finger recognition, it tells me that finger recognition needs to be setup on my phone

But I don’t use finger recognition (as the scanner is terrible), which is why I want to setup face recognition