Biometric banking

Passwords and memorable data are becoming a thing of the past as we say goodbye to trying to remember what the name of our first boyfriend was.

Instead,  if you wish to make a payment or transfer we now have nothing else to rely upon but our own voices. That’s right as of right now, Barclays bank have introduced their latest fad; voice recognition, giving their customers a more easily accessible type of mobile banking.

Signing up to this new feature couldn’t be any easier; users must simply say a string of phrases over the phone, which the banking systems will be able to use to analyse the users tone and pitch in order to verify their identity.

Once set up, users will be allowed access to their mobile banking simply by using their voice, which will then be checked against their previously logged voice print.

This new feature has been cunningly promoted by none other than Joanna Lumley, who can be seen speaking the phrase ‘you can lead a horse to water but you cannot make him drink’ into her phone in a bid to gain access to her mobile banking system.

Though Barclay’s is the first to roll out this new feature, it seems a number of high-street banks are also set to release similar features, with HSBC and First Direct soon to release this customer friendly service later this year.

But why the sudden need to change the password orientated world of online and mobile banking? Because, quite frankly, in an age where passwords are required for almost every account we own, it is unrealistic to expect customers to be able to list correct passwords on demand.

However, customer incentives are not the only reason banks are providing this new technology; Fraud is the real incentive for banks.

With allegations of fraud at an all-time high, according to Financial Fraud Action UK, banks have really had to step up their antifraud technology since the amount of fraud being actioned has jumped from 64 per cent to 92 per cent in just over a year.

As criminals become more apt at cyber-crimes, customers are becoming less aware of how to secure their banking data, making online and phone banking customers more vulnerable to fraudsters, as they are easily manipulated into giving out their memorable data.

It is therefore unsurprising that banks are taking action against their current easily hackable systems and introducing these new biometric systems that are not so easily manipulated.

It seems that voice recognition will not be the only biometric system to grace our mobile banking systems as other banks plan to introduce items such finger vein verification and pulse analysis in attempt to make security tighter.

Though the intention is to make internet and phone banking safer and easier to use from a customer perspective, it will not completely disregard the need for passwords, as these systems will inevitably not always be able to go on voice recognition alone due to a wild array of outside influences, such as background noise.

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