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News

Voice biometrics in Australia sets example for others to follow

VeCommerce : 11 December, 2009  (Technical Article)
Mobile banking authentication using voice biometrics is a technology being embraced by the banking industry in Australia which is leaving the UK banking industry behind says Salmat VeCommerce
Salmat VeCommerce, a supplier of voice self-service and speaker verification solutions, suggests that the UK's financial institutions are behind their Australian cousins when it comes to tapping the missed opportunities of offering more secure mobile banking services for customers.

EMEA General Manager at Salmat VeCommerce Brett Feldon commented, "What is happening in the financial services community down under could provide some valuable lessons for UK counterparts that want to attract more mobile on-line banking users. Many consumers have been put off because of security fears but one way of alleviating these concerns is to deploy voice biometrics as a means of authenticating the user."

National Australia Bank (NAB) has recently revealed its intentions to adopt voice biometrics for its mobile banking users as a replacement for using SMS pass codes. The motivation is not only linked to improving security but also convenience for the customer.

Brett Feldon added, "The problem with current methods for accessing on-line accounts such as passwords, PINs or even tokens is that they can be lost or stolen. The advantage of using voice biometrics based on an individual's unique voice print is that it can't be compromised and is completely portable, because it travels with you. So if a mobile phone is stolen and may contain sensitive information for bank accounts and so on, the information is rendered useless because a voiceprint is also required for authorisation."

"With the rising appeal and ownership of Internet-enabled mobile phones and devices such as iPhones, it makes sense that this medium should be popular to manage banking too. Not only can financial institutions address the costs of fraud but they can also decrease overheads by persuading more cautious customers to move over to Internet banking."

He concluded, "Voice biometrics is incredibly versatile and can be applied across a multitude of different channels where you need to improve the security of authenticating someone's identity remotely. Another advantage is that unlike other methods, no additional specialist equipment is required such as readers or tokens. "

Juniper Research estimates that there will be a total of 612 million mobile banking users globally generating more than $587bn (£299bn) worth of financial transactions by 2011.
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