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Listening credit card is latest weapon in fight against fraud

22 April 2004  |  2707 views  |  0 cash_1

A prototype credit card that obeys only its master's voice has been developed for use in online transactions by engineers at Beepcard in California.

The battery-operated card uses built-in voice recognition technology to authenticate its owner. A spoken password command activates the card which then emits an audible ID code for pick-up by PC microphone or via a phone for online verification.

Beepcard is currently refining the prototype 'Comdot' card to make it robust enough for everyday use. This entails shrinking the size of the audio chip and protecting the onboard battery from wear and tear.

Voice authentication has already been tried as a safety measure in transactions conducted by mobile phones, but has yet to prove itself when applied directly to the card.

Research conducted last year by US financial services firms in association with the Financial Services Technology Consortium and TouchPoint Consulting found that consumers are ready to adopt voice authentication techniques for identity verification in financial transactions, but security and privacy worries remain a barrier to widespread uptake.

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