Citigroup is to roll out voice recognition software to its Asian customer base, shrinking its branch network as more customers move to online and mobile banking.
Speaking to Bloomberg, Anand Selvakesari, Citigroup’s Singapore-based consumer banking head for Asia Pacific said the bank will roll out the voice recognition technology in Singapore first, followed by Australia, Hong Kong, India and Taiwan over the next few months.
The Asian plan follows the introduction of voiceprint technology in the US credit card market, where the bank has enrolled some 70% of its customer base. It plans to have at least 1 million Asian users of the technology within the next 12 months.
Selvakesari told the newswire that about 95% of Citigroup’s retail banking transactions in the region take place outside the branch network.
The bank reduced the number of branches in Asia by nine percent to 481 in the first quarter from a year earlier, according to a statement in April, adding about 1 million new digital banking clients.
The introduction of biometric logins is expected to cut the average time it takes to validate a client’s identity over the phone to 15 seconds, from 45 seconds, doing away with multiple identity checks and passcodes.