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Move Over Passwords, Barclays Introduces Voice Biometrics For Mobile Banking

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Move Over Passwords, Barclays Introduces Voice Biometrics For Mobile Banking
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Barclays PLC (ADR) (NYSE: BCS) is adopting voice biometrics technology at its call centers, a move that will replace passwords and allow customer authentication once they start talking.

According to Barclays, the technology identifies the caller based solely on their voice, which it claims to be 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," said Steven Cooper, CEO, personal banking, Barclays. "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."

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Earlier, customers calling Barclays were required to share their passcodes or 16-digit debit card numbers in order to verify themselves.

"We can all relate to the frustration of forgetting a password at the crucial moment," said Cooper. "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," said Cooper. Voice Security, which will be available to Barclays Personal and Premier customers over the age of 16, will speed up this process significantly.

Customers wishing to use the newest technology option must call Barclays telephone banking service to initiate the voice "print" process. "Once Barclays has collected a sufficient voice print over the course of multiple phone calls, (minimum 2) customers can opt to use voice security technology rather than a password to identify themselves," according to the Barclays' release.

Further, a report on Finextra said following registration, each time a customer calls, "the Nuance FreeSpeech voice biometrics technology will compare their voice against the voice print and silently signals to the employee when the customer's identity has been verified."

Barclays began offering this service to a limited number of customers in 2013. Following, the success of the trial, it is rolling out the service to all customers in August 2016.

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