DBS to roll out voice authentication; OCBC to take biometrics nationwide

DBS to roll out voice authentication; OCBC to take biometrics nationwide

Singapore's DBS is to introduce voice biometrics to authenticate customers ringing in to its call centres by the end of the year.

The bank says the deployment will reduce the time customers spend on authentication by between 20 and 40 seconds. Instead of having to remember passwords and answers to security questions, customers can be verified in 15 seconds or less as they speak to customer service officers (CSOs).

Customers with a sore throat or who have to speak in a noisy area would still be verifiable as their voices are profiled by a number of identifiers such as speed of speech, cadence and pronunciation.

News of the DBS roll out comes just a week after Citibank announced plans to introduce the technolgy to one million customers across its Asian banking network.

Local rival OCBC Bank launched voice biometrics to a targeted group of retail customers in September 2015. These customers could use their voiceprints to authenticate banking requests for current accounts and cards balances, latest account transactions and the status of deposited cheques. The voice biometric authentication replaces PINs, one-time passwords and security questions at the bank’s Contact Centre, making the access to banking transactions and customer service agents faster.

The bank says voice biometrics will be available to retail customers in the fourth quarter of this year, when customers will be able to use their voiceprints to authenticate a majority of banking transactions.

In April this year, OCBC Bank also became the first bank to launch speech recognition at its Contact Centre.

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