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Bank of New Zealand looks to voice biometrics


The Bank of New Zealand is set to introduce voice identification technology to its call centers later this year.

According to a report in Stuff.co.nz, customers will have to read an access code into the phone to perform verification. The national bank is also looking at introducing speech recognition, allowing customers to direct calls with their voice, rather than the usual automated process.

Reported previously, the Australian and New Zealand Bank, ANZ has also mentioned that biometrics could soon be a part of its customer experience.

New Zealand, no stranger to biometrics, recently passed a national online identity service into motion called RealMe, which is intended to replace the process of providing your identity when applying for government services or programs. This includes mechanisms for multi-factor authentication, mobile support as well as voice biometrics and facial recognition.  

In fact, according to the Inland Revenue service, New Zealand’s tax-collection agency, over 400,000 people have registered since last November to use a voiceprint system that confirms their identity for checking balances, receiving child support information, and tracking tax refunds.

As we reported last year, the National Australia Bank has also opted to use voice biometric for its call centres and customer identity verification, though as the Stuff.co.nz report suggests, the bank has had some issues using this technology.

BiometricUpdate.com recently took a look an extended look at voice biometrics as a modality, including some early examples, as well as an exploration of potential developments and innovations. Read the full feature here.

Also, based on a survey conducted by Nuance Communications, smartphone users have grown frustrated with current authentication methods and 90% of them are eager to use voice biometrics in place of existing methods.

The overall market for voice and face biometrics is expected to reach nearly $3 billion by the end of 2018. Currently, the United States accounts for the largest share of these markets, though according to a recently-published report, most of the anticipated growth in the market will come from emerging economies, with Asia-Pacific getting special mention in that regard.

In addition, the Biometrics Research Group has noted that mobile devices are expected to drive the bank adoption of voice biometrics, and has also pinpointed that Asia is expected to lead the growth in biometric banking applications.

The group previously estimated the total revenue for biometrics supplied to the global banking sector would total US$900 million by the end of 2012. 

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