Barclays is to ditch telephone passwords for voice recognition technology in the latest digital advance at the bank.
Barclays explained that there are over 100 different characteristics in someone's voice, and that the move will improve security, speed up log-in times and remove the need to remember yet another password.
Steven Cooper, CEO of personal banking at Barclays, said: “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."
Barclays has been testing the technology for some time, and is now confident that the firm can push ahead with a full rollout to customers during August. All customers are eligible but can opt out if they wish.
“Barclays is constantly looking at ways to improve services for customers and make it easier for them to get things done quickly; this is the perfect example of technology that does exactly that," added Cooper.
"There’s no need for customers to change how they bank with us, or in fact do anything differently at all, just continue to use telephone banking in the same way."
The move is the latest by Barclays to increase the bank's use of technology to aid customer services. It follows new payment options, such as the company's own contactless payment services for iOS and Android, although Barclays did eventually relent and add Apple Pay earlier this year.
The bank is not the first to promise a bigger use of biometric technology. HSBC has already vowed to introduce voice recognition and support for Apple’s TouchID fingerprint scanner, something that is still not supported by Barclays.
Customers have become increasingly comfortable interacting with banks using new forms of technology, especially mobile. Recent data showed a huge upsurge in people using phones to interact with their bank rather than desktop devices.
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