Seeya, security questions! Barclays taps Nuance for voice recognition

Will only trust wealthy voices at the moment

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Barclays Wealth customers will no longer have to answer multiple security questions when using telephone banking services, thanks to Nuance's voice recognition technology.

The service, which is the first of its kind in the UK and will eventually come to regular Barclays customers, recognises the caller's voice within 30 seconds of regular conversation with an attendant.

The tech, called Nuance FreeSpeech, has been trialled among Barclays customers, but will now become the the primary means of authentication in the bank's call centres.

FreeSpeech checks speech against the customer's voiceprint and if the voice isn't recognised, employees will be able to go back to the old system.

Normal conversation?

In recent tests the bank claimed 93 per cent of customers gave it 9 out of 10 for speed, ease of use and security.

It will mean users will no longer have to remember multiple pins and passwords to access their accounts, but on the downside, they will have to engage in "normal conversation" with a bank employee.

"We're in the midst of a rapid evolution in customer service today, as people demand more natural, human interactions when they seek service and support," said Robert Weideman, executive vice president and general manager of the Nuance Enterprise Division.

"Nuance's voice biometrics technology allows organizations such as Barclays to redefine their customer service experiences through a more intuitive and transparent authentication process, easing the burden on both customers and service agents."

Via Telegraph