Major bank to improve security with voice biometrics

A big four bank has announced that it will be the first Australian lender to introduce voice biometrics to improve the security on mobile devices while processing higher value transactions.

ANZ revealed that from the middle of this year, customers transferring more than $1,000 through the bank’s mobile banking application will be able to use their voice to automatically authorise high-value payments, while previously customers needed to use internet banking or visit a branch to do so.

Peter Dalton, managing director for customer experience and digital channels, said that as the world became more digital, one of the key challenges for banking was making it easier for customers to “do what they want to do in a safe and secure way”.

“Voice biometrics is the next step in making banking more convenient for our customers while also strengthening security,” he said.

“A person’s voice has five to 10 times as many security points than other methods such as fingerprints, so we know this will improve security and be welcomed by our customers.”

Mr Dalton continued to say that the technology had become “so advanced” that it would be able to tell the difference between identical twins and voice recordings.

“We also know that people are becoming more comfortable with using their voice to do basic commands on their devices, so we see this is a natural extension of current technology and are expecting this to be a popular enhancement of our mobile apps,” he added.

A pilot will begin with ANZ staff and select customers in May using the Grow by ANZ mobile app, before being rolled out to ANZ goMoney and other digital services progressively.

[Related: Focus on cyber security from the start]

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Tamikah Bretzke

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