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Vocal banking - the future of voice biometrics

Last month, Barclays spelled the eventual end to security questions, passwords and long frustrating phone calls by announcing its move to voice recognition technology. The retail bank explained that over the next year it will be introducing a system of biometrics to allow customers to log into telephone banking using the power of their voice alone.

With more people than ever choosing to manage their finances digitally, what does the future of biometric voice banking hold?

Several banks have already started investing in voice biometrics for mobile banking apps for two primary reasons: to enhance the user experience and bolster security.

Our recent research shows that over half of UK consumers would like their banks to use more innovative and intuitive ways to secure their bank account, with over a quarter (27%) saying they would be more likely to use mobile banking apps if they incorporated voice verification security. This comes as no surprise, as it would eliminate the need to remember long passwords, while minimising the risk of log in details being stolen. For this reason, voice verification is considered one of the most secure authentication methods, which is why major banks such as ING Direct Canada have already begun implementing the technology in their mobile banking systems.

Voice technology also has the ability to make the mobile banking experience much easier and convenient for customers. For example, USAA bank has started incorporating voice commands into its mobile banking app, allowing users to pay bills, make transfers and check their balance simply by talking to the system, simplifying the process of managing finances while on the go. The possibilities here are endless. Consumers could check how much they have spent on groceries in the last month while in the supermarket simply by asking their smartphone, which will allow them to make more informed shopping decisions.

While increased security is vital in this era of online hacks and breaches, this often comes at the price of usability. As many US banks are starting to demonstrate however, voice recognition technology may strike the perfect balance between the two. So which UK banks will be the first to take advantage of this exciting innovation? 


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