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ANZ inches closer to a voice biometrics system for its call centers


The Australia and New Zealand Bank is closer than ever to implementing a biometric system to authenticate its customers.

Speaking at a technology briefing in Sydney, ANZ’s CEO Phil Chronican said the plans are still in the early planning stages, but a functional system would be implemented in the next year to a year-and-a-half.

In particular, the company is looking to use voice biometrics to identify customers calling in to its call centers.

“We’re piloting it, we think we’ll do it, obviously it’s got to pass all the tests,” Chronican said at the briefing, according to a report in Finextra. “A key element of Banking on Australia is about transforming our distribution channels, simplifying our processes and giving our people access to insights, tools and training to free them up to spend more time with customers having the right conversations.”

Reported previously, in 2012, the company announced its intentions to look into voice biometrics.

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

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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