HSBC voice biometrics prevents £249m attempted fraud

HSBC UK has announced that its voice biometrics system has prevented nearly £249 million of attempted telephone fraud over the past year.

The bank reported a decrease in the rate of attempted fraud of 50 per cent year-on-year.

HSBC said that as more people turn to digital channels and telephone banking, it has witnessed an increase in customers signing up to the ‘Voice ID’ system, used within its telephone banking service and currently serving more than 2.8 million active customers.

Telephone fraudsters can attempt to impersonate customers by stealing or guessing personal information to pass security checks – but they can’t replicate someone’s voice.

Voice ID detects whether the voice matches that which is held on file for the customer and therefore whether the caller is genuine.

Since the technology was introduced in the UK, over 43,000 fraudulent phone calls have been identified, with over £981 million worth of customers’ money protected.

“We’ve seen unprecedented challenges as the pandemic and lockdown restrictions transformed our lives significantly and, unsurprisingly, more people have turned to online and mobile banking to take control of their finances, utilising other channels for very particular interactions,” said Kerri-Anne Mills, head of contact centre and customer service at HSBC UK. “Voice ID has not only made telephone banking more convenient for customers accessing their accounts, but it has also been instrumental in stopping attempts at telephone banking fraud, protecting customers’ money."

Mills added: “Scammers are sophisticated and it’s a constant challenge to keep ahead of them but this is promising - we’ve seen a 50 per cent drop in reported telephone banking fraud year-on-year. We are now enrolling around 14,000 customers in Voice ID each week and the technology continues to be instrumental in the fight against fraud, providing a library of fraudsters’ voice prints to cross check against new incoming calls.”

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