Dutch banking group ABN Amro is rolling out a voice verification system designed to identify customers over the phone without the need for passwords and PIN codes.
The service is being rolled out to ABN Amro's telephone banking customers in the Netherlands.
The system uses more than 100 biometric characteristics in the speaker's voice, including pitch, frequency, soft and hard palate and jaw structure, to verify whether the caller is bona fide.
Voice verification will initially be applied to customers making balance enquiries, transfers and investment orders via the telephone. This is done by speaking the account number. Customers will no longer have to remember PIN codes or passwords.
ABN Amro says the system has been tested by more than 1450 people who conducted 25,000 test calls. These were made using both fixed-line and mobile telephones, at all times of day. The bank says special attention was devoted to people who were suffering from colds during the test period.
Chris Vogelzang, director ABN Amro Netherlands, says 95% of all transactions are now conducted through direct channels such as the Internet and telephone, and voice verification means better access and more convenience for the customer.
"Voice verification is fast, easy and, above all, secure," adds Vogelzang.