One bank in the Netherlands is about to get a little more chatty.
ING Netherlands announced this week that it has implemented voice-activated payments capability on its mobile banking app in that country. Nuance Communications designed the voice biometrics that enable the technology, which is being put forth as an alternative to the traditional security methods of PINs and passwords.
Nuance’s voice recognition technology, called Nina, will be known (while remaining a separate entity) as Inge for its purposes within the ING Netherlands app. A press release from Nuance describes Inge as facilitating a conversational interaction between the consumer and the app, allowing the user to log in and confirm bank transfers — in addition to the aforementioned payments capability — by using the sound of their voice.
“Thanks in part to the inclusion of biometric applications, we are able to make banking faster, smoother and easier for our customers and improve access,” said Jeroen Losekoot, Internet & mobile marketing manager at ING, in the release. “This allows them to have greater control over their finances.”
“By becoming the first bank in the Netherlands to incorporate voice biometrics into the mobile banking app, ING Netherlands is leading the charge in innovation by utilizing an effective solution that is natural and intuitive,” Robert Weideman, executive vice president and general manager for the enterprise division of Nuance, was quoted as saying. “Customers can now bank in a seamless and convenient way by using the sound of their voice from start to finish in the mobile app.”
The release touts that more than 100,000 ING Netherlands customers already use the virtual assistant in the mobile app to perform tasks such as checking their balance or issuing payments within the app. The newly implemented voice biometrics (on iOS and Android phones) or fingerprint recognition (on iOS phones with Touch ID) to initiate payment went into effect on Tuesday (July 28).