Barclay’s deploys Nuance voice biometrics system for customer authentication

March 7, 2013 - 

Barclay’s Wealth Investment Management has implemented a Nuance voice biometrics system in its call center to quickly authenticate its phone-banking customers.

Reported in, the specific system being used by the bank is called FreeSpeech, and is part of a US $450 million project to improve customer service across the board. Since implementing, Nuance suggests the solution has been widely adopted.

According to the report, the system is always running and listening to the users voice. Customers are asked if they want to enroll, and if they opt-in to the system, their information is stored. If they opt-out, their voice print is discarded. On the back end, the system gives agents a confidence rating to indicate whether the person on the other end is the customer whose voice print is stored in the system, or an imposter.

Reported previously in, Matt Smallman of Barclay’s Wealth and Investment Management will present this year’s keynote case study at theOpus Research  Voice Biometrics conference at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco, May 8-9, 2013.

Smallman leads the Client Experience Strategy and Change team for Wealth and Investment Management at Barclays. In 2012, he was part of the team that implemented the Nuance system in service centers.

In a recent BiometricUpdate Research Note, Rawlson King asserts that mobile devices will drive bank adoption of voice biometrics. 

As we reported last year, the National Australia Bank (NAB) has also opted to use voice recognition for the biometric authentication of its customers rather than fingerprinting, as its reportedly deems the technology more secure and reliable.

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About Adam Vrankulj

Adam Vrankulj is an editor for His background consists of online news writing, editing and content marketing. Adam has written for, BlogTO and was the editor and curator for the nextMEDIA and CIX Source publications. He has a degree in journalism and is passionate about science, technology and social innovation. Contact Adam, or follow him at @adamvrankulj