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Sunday 24 June 2018


Barclays to introduce voice recognition

Written by Michelle Stevens

Telephone banking customers at Barclays are to be offered a new voice recognition system which will verify their identity through their speech pattern.

The method works using voice biometrics and is already available to high net worth customers in Barclays’ wealth management division.

From next year the pioneering system will also be rolled out to the bank’s 12 million retail customers. When account holders register for the service a ‘voiceprint’ will be securely stored, which will then checked against their subsequent telephone calls with the contact centre.

Barclays explained that it could reduce the time it takes to confirm a customer’s identity from 90 seconds to just 10 seconds, by removing the need for several security questions, pins and passwords.

Ashok Vaswani, chief executive of Barclays personal and corporate banking, said in a Sunday Telegraph interview that the system was “foolproof”. He added: “You don’t get fraud, and you don’t annoy the customers by asking them to identify themselves with security.”

Commenting on the news, Jason Hart, VP cloud solutions at data protection firm SafeNet, said: “It’s not surprising that Barclays is making the move away from password-based authentication for its telephone banking.

“Today we have so many passwords to remember that we choose easy-to-guess passwords, use the same passwords for several accounts, or even write down passwords where they can be easily found.”

“Organisations need to look for alternative ways to authenticate users and bolster security,” he continued. “This means not relying on a basic username and password for customer authentication, and adopting a holistic security strategy that offers multiple layers of protection, such as multi-factor authentication and encryption.”

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