HSBC launching voice recognition and touch security services in UK

HSBC is launching voice recognition and touch security services in the UK, which will be available to 15 million banking customers.

Customers of First Direct, a division of HSBC, will be offered the biometric recognition system over the next few weeks, followed by HSBC’s in the summer.

HSBC is not the first to do this as Barclays has already introduced voice recognition software to its corporate clients, while RBS and NatWest have offered finger print technology for the last year. Atom Bank is also launching soon and will allow its customers to log on via a face recognition system.

The voice biometrics technology is supplied by US-based Nuance Communications. It says the system “works by cross-checking against over 100 unique identifiers including both behavioural features such as speed, cadence and pronunciation, and physical aspects including the shape of larynx, vocal tract and nasal passages”.

To use the service, customers have to enrol their “voice print” and will no longer need to use passwords or PINs.

For those concerned about illnesses, Joe Gordon, UK head of customer contact at HSBC, told the BBC: “We will be able to cope with people who have got colds or slight impediments. Things such as the size of your mouth or your vocal tract don’t change. Neither do your cadence or your accent when you’ve got those little colds.”

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