Barclays To Accept Voice In Lieu Of Password When Doing Telephone Banking

With banks looking for new ways to enable customers to provide secure transactions, they are increasingly turning to voice recognition, with Barclays announcing a voice recognition service on Monday (Aug. 1).

In a press release, the U.K. bank said it is introducing voice security technology to all of it customers as a way to make telephone banking more secure and easier to use. According to Barclays, the technology can identify the caller based only on their voice, which removes 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 based on the physical configuration of the person speaking’s mouth and throat. Because of that, the voice automation technology will be able to recognize the person based on the first few words spoken. Utilizing the technology won’t only make it easier to do telephone banking, but it creates a bigger barrier against fraud. Barclays has been testing the technology since 2013 with a limited number of customers, and based on the success of the trial, it’s making it available to all of its customers as of Aug. 2016.

“We can all relate to the frustration of forgetting a password at the crucial moment,” said Steven Cooper, chief executive of personal banking at Barclays, in the press release. “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.”

With banks, retailers, hotels and all sorts of other businesses falling victim to data breaches and hacks that cost the companies millions in lost money and customer trust, many organizations are trying new ways to thwart the bad guys. While Barclays is first out of the gate with voice recognition technology, other banks are in various stages of testing it.


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