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Santander introduces voice and phone ID authentication for UK phone banking

Source: Santander

Santander has today announced plans to offer telephone banking customers the option to verify their identity through an innovative combination of ‘Phone ID’ and biometric ‘Voice ID’ technology, making its authentication process simpler and more secure than ever.

With several million customers using telephone banking every year, the combination of Phone ID and Voice ID means that these customers will no longer be required to key in any Personal ID or Security Numbers when completing telephone authentication. Instead, they will be able to verify their identity just by calling from a unique phone number and repeating a short phrase, which will be particularly helpful for those customers who struggle to remember their details.

The introduction of Phone ID technology enables Santander to identify an individual customer simply through the phone number they are calling from. To take advantage of this service, customers will need to call from a phone number that is uniquely registered to them, such as a mobile number.

To gain access to their accounts, customers will then be able to complete the authentication process through biometric Voice ID security. This uses the latest technology to analyse over 100 characteristics of the human voice - more than can be heard by the human ear. The technology is sophisticated enough that it can even detect a recording of someone’s voice being played over the telephone.

Santander is also introducing ‘Natural Language’ to its telephone banking service. This means once customers have been authenticated, they can then state the reason for their call and be routed directly through to the relevant team, eliminating the need to key in an option from a telephone menu and making the process even simpler and faster.

Reza Attar-Zadeh, Head of Customer Interactions, Santander UK said: “Our innovative combination of Phone ID and Voice ID gives our customers an incredibly simple and seamless way to authenticate themselves when calling us - removing the need to remember and key in numbers while ensuring the highest standards of security. The human voice contains over 100 voice characteristics we can use to ensure that a caller is who they say they are, further protecting our customers’ accounts from fraudsters.”

Customers will be asked to repeat a short phrase several times during an initial enrolment process to create their unique ‘voice print’, much like a fingerprint. When a customer then calls in future, they will be asked to say the phrase again, so that the technology can compare their verification voice print with the one that was created during their enrolment.

All customers who are aged over 18 and have telephone enabled credentials will be able to take advantage of both Phone ID and Voice ID, with participation in the new services entirely optional. Customers will be invited to enrol and offered the option to activate the services whenever they call Santander’s customer service teams.  

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