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Banking Apps to Feature Voice Biometrics, Audio Virtual Assistants


Two major banks will soon introduce the use of audio virtual assistants combined with voice biometrics in their mobile apps, says Nuance Communications.

According to a report by Bank Innovation, USAA is currently using Nuance’s virtual assistant Nina while US Bank is testing a voice assistant for a select group of credit card customers. More banks are currently in talks to follow suit.

The combination of a virtual assistant with voice biometrics is an innovative approach that could potentially change the direction of mobile app use.

With the recent advances in voice-recognition technology coupled with the emergence of banking transactions via mobile apps, some users of mobile banking apps will soon be able to manage their accounts exclusively by voice.

For instance, iPhone’s Siri users can activate their banking apps with a simple voice command, log into their account using their voice password, and perform transactions with the banking app’s virtual assistant.

Nuance Communications solutions marketing manager Brett Beranek says the industry is “moving beyond speech recognition to intelligent natural language,” as well as “moving beyond the smartphone to cars and TV.”

According to Beranek, banks have been considering both voice biometric and virtual assistants over the past two to three years, but it is just now that the two technologies are coming together.

Authentication method is one popular use of voice in mobile apps in which users can create passphrases and Nuances’ software will then measure 200 characteristics of the voiceprint.

There are currently 50 banks using Nuances’ software, including TD and Barclays, for voice biometrics in their call centers.

Many have criticized this biometric technology as being another potential target for hackers but
Beranek says that Nuance only stores some characteristics of a user’s voiceprint — not the entire thing.

Users will be prompted by a security component when they log in to their account, as well as during any high-risk transactions.

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