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NAB introduces voice biometrics for phone banking

10 June 2009  |  12919 views  |  1 lady using smartphone

National Australia Bank (NAB) has introduced biometric voice verification for its telephone banking customers.

Following an internal pilot involving 2000 branch staff in May, the speech security function is now available to NAB's 3.3 million personal banking customers.

Customers calling the bank's contact centre can now register their voice pattern, which NAB says is harder to steal than a password or PIN, improving authentication.

In addition, the system is more convenient for customers because it does not require them to remember passwords and PINs.

Warren Shaw, executive general manager, nabretail, NAB Personal Banking, says: "With identity theft related fraud increasingly moving to the phone channel, the use of voice biometrics enables the effective identification, authentication and verification of customers, offering an extra layer of protection."

Comments: (1)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 10 June, 2009, 15:13

NAB's implementation makes a lot of sense to me: biometric verification embedded in phones (I assume the bank is referring to *mobile* and not just ‘phone' banking, but either way biometric-authenticated mobile or landline phone access a solid idea.)

Of course, biometric authentication has been talked about as the next big thing since before I was a young man, and every now and again someone naively talks about it as though some relatively ordinary set of new events will cause breakthrough levels of adoption. Yet imagine if end users could designate that no "high-risk activities" (transfers, large withdrawals, etc) could occur through any remote channel unless bio auth were used thru a mobile device. N=1, I know how this would affect me: more of my deposits and transactions would be at the bank that offered this control feature. Phone banking (mobile or landline) could be the alarm that finally wakes the sleeping giant of biometric security.

 

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