Barclays launches voice recognition, ditches passwords and security questions

- Finance - Aug 02, 2016

Barclays will no longer require customers to recite digits from telephone passwords after it introduced voice scanning technology to its contact centres.

The bank has announced that it is introducing voice security technology to all customers, meaning its telephone banking service will be easier to use and more secure than ever. This technology identifies the caller based solely on their voice – a highly secure method of identification that removes the need for security questions and passwords.

Each person’s voice is as unique as their fingerprint, made up of over 100 characteristics based on the physical configuration of the speaker's mouth and throat. Therefore, when a customer calls up to use telephone banking, the technology will be able to identify them simply from the first few words that are spoken.  

Not only will this make the process quicker – allowing customers to get on with their day – it will also create a greater barrier against fraud, due to the highly personal form of identification.

Steven Cooper, CEO of Personal Banking at Barclays, commented: “We can all relate to the frustration of forgetting a password at the crucial moment. 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.”

If a customer has forgotten their password, it takes two minutes on average to get through the alternative security measures. Voice Security will speed up this process significantly.

Barclays pioneered this technology by offering the service to a limited number of customers in 2013 – the first bank in Europe to do so. The success of the trial means that they are now making it available to all customers, which will be rolled out in August 2016.

Cooper added: “Barclays is constantly looking at ways to improve services for customers and make it easier for them to get things done quickly; this is the perfect example of technology that does exactly that. There’s no need for customers to change how they bank with us, or in fact do anything differently at all – just continue to use telephone banking in the same way. We’re committed to providing options so that our customers can choose how they want to bank with us and this is the latest iteration of that promise.”

Read the July EURO 2016 issue of Business Review Europe magazine. 

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