Passwords Will No Longer Be Needed Because Each Voice Is as Unique as a Fingerprint


Barclays has today announced that it is introducing voice security technology to all customers, meaning its telephone banking service will be easier to use and more secure than ever.
This technology identifies the caller based solely on their voice – a highly secure method of identification that removes the need for security questions and passwords.

Each person’s voice is as unique as their fingerprint, made up of over 100 characteristics based on the physical configuration of the speaker’s mouth and throat. Therefore, when a customer calls up to use telephone banking, the technology will be able to identify them simply from the first few words that are spoken.

Not only will this make the process quicker – allowing customers to get on with their day – it will also create a greater barrier against fraud, due to the highly personal form of identification.

Steven Cooper, CEO of Personal Banking at Barclays, commented: “We can all relate to the frustration of forgetting a password at the crucial moment. Voice security can cut out that part of the call completely and, unlike a password, each person’s voice is as unique as a fingerprint.”

If a customer has forgotten their password, it takes two minutes on average to get through the alternative security measures. Voice security will speed up this process significantly.

“This move by Barclays follows the likes of HSBC and Santander using voice biometrics to secure their customers’ identity and we can expect to see a lot more banks and financial services using biometric technologies to augment other security technologies”, said Matt Peachy, EMEA VP at Pindrop.

“Banks understand the importance of implementing these new technologies as fraud loss can be damaging – both in terms of cost and customer confidence. Our recent State of Fraud Report, which analysed over 10 million calls made to financial institutions in the UK and US, found that in 2015, one in 700 calls to UK financial institutions are fraudulent, demonstrating the need for banks to take action.

“But it is essential that all angles are covered. Without multiple layers of security covering all channels, from face to face, to online, to the telephone, fraudsters are able to manipulate particular points of exposure.

“Voice recognition does help to identify true customers, but fraudsters have many techniques which help them bypass this layer of security. Distortive or synthesised noises, for example, can alter the sound of a voice, making it hard to verify and accurately define the user as fraudulent. In these situations, banks must revert to traditional knowledge-based authentication questions, which may have been socially engineered or obtained through other data breaches.”

Pindrop uses Phoneprinting technology to analyse over 147 aspects of the human voice to verify whether a caller is who they say they are.

“Phoneprinting technology can identify specific components about each call, such as the location a call is coming from, the device, whether it’s a mobile or landline and whether the phone has been used to call the company before. Combined, this can all aid in detecting fraudulent activity before it becomes an issue”, said Matt Peachy, EMEA VP at Pindrop.

For more information about Pindrop, visit their website.

Published On: 2nd Aug 2016 - Last modified: 15th Aug 2016
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