Making everyday banking easier: Conversational biometrics

By : Andy Brown

November 06, 2015 02:00 PM

One of the tasks of the industry is to make everyday banking easier. Through all the technological advances and changes in transactional banking, it’s easy to lose sight of who should benefit - the customer.


Customer verification in telephone banking is an interesting case in point. It’s an area that’s improved a lot in terms of security over the years as new steps and layers have been added.


It’s also been possible to incorporate elements of online banking into the verification step, such as a password that applies to both, making it easier on the customer (only one password to remember, not two).


But it can still be cumbersome and easy to go wrong. Customers can forget their PINs and passwords, requiring a time-consuming reset. Nevertheless, a variant of biometric technology is coming to rescue: conversational voice biometrics.


Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) has launched a new platform that will deliver customer verification through natural conversation.


RBC Secure Voice verifies someone’s identity within seconds, eliminating the need for passwords/PINs or to respond to a standard series of authentication questions.


Customers will not even have to memorize and repeat a specific phrase, which has been a requirement of other voice biometrics systems. Instead, the customer’s unique ‘voiceprint’ is matched to their live voice in real time.


Claude DeMone, vice-president of business enablement for RBC, says on their website that: “We realize the typical verification process can sometimes seem like a series of skill-testing questions - RBC Secure Voice simplifies this process significantly. All you need to do is talk to an RBC advisor and the distinctive qualities of your voice take care of all the rest.”


It’s a clear example of how technology can make everyday banking easier. When banking is seen as a chore, it’s important institutions do what they can to make things simpler for the customer to keep them coming back.

Andy Brown

Marketing Director, Payments

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Andy has nearly 30 years experience in e-payment systems from the delivery and support of systems in the Far East and Europe and in the product management and marketing perspective. Based in the UK, Andy is responsible for marketing NCR payment solutions.