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ANZ Bank to roll out voice biometrics for high value transactions

03 Apr 2017

ANZ announced today that it will be the first Australian bank that allows customers to use voice biometrics to conduct high-value payments.

From mid-2017, ANZ customers will be able to use their voice to transfer more than $1000 through ANZ’s mobile apps.

Peter Dalton, ANZ managing director of customer experience and digital channels, says creating digital experiences that allow customers to do what they want in a safe and secure manner is a big challenge.

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

Previously customers had to use internet banking or visit a branch to complete transactions over the $1000 limit.

“A person’s voice has five to ten times as many security points than other methods such as fingerprints so we know this will improve security and be welcomed by our customers. The technology is now so advanced that it can tell the difference between identical twins or even a voice recording,” Dalton says.

The company has been working with voiceprint and biometrics provider Nuance to provide the technology. 

“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 we are expecting this to be a popular enhancement of our mobile apps,” Dalton continues.

According to Nuance, voice biometrics in general can also provide 80% faster authentication in five seconds, and 90% of users prefer voice biometrics over the status quo.

“ Because a voiceprint is a hashed string of numbers and characters, a compromised voiceprint has no value to a hacker. Not only that, each time a fraudster speaks within an IVR, call centre or mobile app, they leave behind their own voiceprint that can be used to proactively keep them out of the system and even alert law enforcement. The power of the voice really is in your hands,” Nuance states on its website.

The ANZ voice biometrics pilot will be focused on ANZ staff and select customers from May through the Grow by ANZ app. It will then be rolled out to ANZ GoMoney and other services.

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