Barclays Brings Biometric Banking to the High-street


Barclays bankers can say goodbye to PINs and passwords

Since May 2013, Barclays has offered its high net-worth customers the ability to use voice recognition for banking authentication. Now it seems that the solution will be rolled out to include all of its 12 million retail customers as well.

The software, called ‘Nuance FreeSpeech’ comes from the Stamford Research Institute – the same folks who created Siri before Apple bought it – and uses voice biometric technology to compare the callers voice to that of a blueprint Barclays has on file. Once that’s all done and dusted, a Barclays representative will have the all clear to continue on with the call.

Barclays is actually the first financial service to deploy passive-voice biometrics as a primary means of customer authentication. In fact, when the service was rolled out to their Wealth & Investment Management centres, they were awarded the FStech Award for ‘Best Use of Technology in Customer Service’.

“We’re in the midst of a rapid evolution in customer service today, as people demand more natural, human interactions when they seek service and support,” said Robert Weideman, executive vice president and general manager of the Nuance Enterprise Division. “Nuance’s voice biometrics technology allows organizations such as Barclays to redefine their customer service experiences through a more intuitive and transparent authentication process, easing the burden on both customers and service agents.”

It makes sense too as more and more people opt to bank away from their physical stores, opting for online, mobile, and telephone banking instead. It’ll be interesting to see if Barclays roll the feature out onto online and mobile banking services so customers can do away with the annoying passwords and user numbers they need to remember to access anything at their bank.

After all, the future of banking won’t be on the telephone, it’ll be mobile and digital banking instead.

You can take a look at the infographic below to see just how Barclays improved service through Nuance Free Speech.

Customers can expect requests to record their voice sometime early next year.


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