Barclays will use voice recognition to let you bank

Biometric authentication is no longer a thing from sci-fi movies, as Barclays is implementing voice recognition for phone banking.

Barclays has announced that from next month onward voice biometrics will be used for phone banking to verify the identity of the account holder. No more passwords or long card numbers to cite, the customer will only have to speak to be authenticated.

“We can all relate to the frustration of forgetting a password at the crucial moment,” said Steven Cooper, CEO at Barclays personal banking. “Voice security can cut out that part of the call completely and, unlike a password, each person’s voice is as unique as a fingerprint.”

The bank will create a database of recordings of their customers’ voice and, when they call the bank, their voiceprint will be cross-checked with the recording. The verification should be completed after a few seconds of conversation with one of Barclays’ staff members. Once the authentication is done, the employee is notified and can proceed the discussion with the customer.

To do so, Barclays uses Nuance FreeSpeech. The bank has been piloting this system for its wealth management services for the past 3 years and their customers have responded positively to this initiative. Indeed, 93% of customers gave this method a 9 or more out of 10 for its speed, ease of use and security.

Now all of Barclays’ clients will have access to this technology, with the possibility to opt out. The bank claims that voice security is quicker and safer than passwords. It will be interesting to see how their customers will respond to this innovative system.

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