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Citi Australia claims to have almost eliminated online fraud; now testing voice biometrics

15 October 2010  |  14055 views  |  3 biometrics - finger print

Citi has slashed online fraud rates to "almost zero" in Australia by using two factor authentication, a system it is now preparing to roll out to its mobile banking customers, according to country chief executive Roy Gori.

Speaking to local reporters, Gori claimed he cannot remember a single case of Internet fraud among the bank's 200,000 online customers over the last 12 months.

Citi employs a two-factor security system, with customers entering a user ID before typing in a password using a dynamic keypad on the screen and answering a predetermined security question.

Gori told reporters the bank's plan was to be the "smartest bank so the fraudsters go after the dumbest ones" and that the system is now being extended to its mobile banking customers.

In addition, Citi in Australia is testing voice biometrics from an unnamed supplier, Gori revealed. The technology - which the CEO claims he has unsuccessfully tried to fool by speaking in a girl's voice - could be rolled out to select early adopters for phone banking within three months.

Citi abandoned a fingerprint-based biometric security system in Singapore in 2008 but Gori says voice biometrics is far more accurate. Rival NAB introduced the system for its telephone banking customers last summer.

Separately, a new online poll of 305 Americans from vendor Unisys has found that when asked "which do you believe is the safest method to prove your credit card is being used by you?" 63% vote for fingerprint biometrics (given the phrasing of the question is this any surprise? - ed.), compared to photo identification (20%), PIN numbers (13%) and handwritten signatures (six per cent).

Online fraud rate 'almost zero': Citibank Australia - The Australian

Citibank to roll out voice biometrics - ZDNet

Comments: (3)

Keith Richbell
Keith Richbell - eftpos Payments Australia Ltd. (ePAL) - Sydney | 18 October, 2010, 02:40

Is it April 1st already? Presumably Roy Gori has been inspired by watching episodes of the T.V. show "Little Britain"? Did he try and fool the voice biometric system by insisting "I'm a lady who likes to do lady things." I think we should be told before we think of switching our accounts to Citi.

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A Finextra member
A Finextra member | 18 October, 2010, 08:48

Surely if we all implemented PCI-DSS, all of these problems would go away!

:o)

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Michael Wright
Michael Wright - Striata | Secure Document Delivery - London | 18 October, 2010, 08:55

Is this really Two-Factor authentication? From the article it sounds like Two-Password authentication. 

I always understood "Factors" to be methods - hence Two-Factor would be 2 methods - generally something you know and something you have - the "know" and "have" being the factors.

If the aim is to make Citi harder to defraud than other banks, I think there is more work to be done. 

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