Banking

Santander App Enables Voice Banking

Santander just recently updated the voice recognition functionality of its SmartBank mobile application for iPhone.

First rolled out last year, the mobile banking app’s voice technology was limited in its capabilities — able to bring up a list of past transactions, for example. The latest upgrade takes inspiration from other voice-enabled technologies and allows consumers to execute a greater variety of more complex actions via voice.

Santander banking customers are now able to make payments, execute money transfers, check their account balances, report lost or stolen cards and inquire about spending patterns and particular transactions, all just by using their voice.

Ed Metzger, Santander’s head of technology innovation, was quoted as saying: “The worlds of technology and banking continue to evolve at pace, working hand in hand to deliver a friction-free user experience. We are excited to be the first U.K. high street bank to enable customers to make payments using just their voice, offering them another channel of choice in how they wish to bank.”

Santander has now joined the ranks of other banks utilizing voice technology in their products and services. While Santander has opted to begin with using the voice as a means to navigate in-app, Barclays and HSBC have both taken to using voice as part of a larger push toward biometric banking and security.

Barclays, for instance, introduced voice security technology back in August of last year to all of its customers as a way to make telephone banking more secure. The technology can identify the caller based only on their voice, removing the need for security questions and passwords. Barclays noted that each human’s voice is as unique as their fingerprints, compromised of more than 100 characteristics.

HSBC, along with U.K. bank First Direct, announced plans to deploy the use of voice biometric security technology, as well as Touch ID, for mobile banking customers across the U.K. in February of last year.

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