Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. now allows account holders to access an app so they can use their fingerprints, voice or face, instead of passwords, to log in online with their smartphones.

The bank introduced the biometric authentication features July 26. Officials explained that this obviates anxiety about forgetting passwords and lowers the risk of unauthorized access.

Account holders must first register their biometric information on the app developed by Polarify Inc., an information technology company under the SMBC group. This allows them to record their speech patterns or have a mugshot snapped, for example, and link the information with the SMBC app so that those features can serve as substitutes for passwords when account holders make balance inquiries or money transfers.

The Polarify app is currently available only in an Android edition. An iOS edition is scheduled for distribution in September.