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USAA to introduce facial and voice recognition logon for mobile app


The USAA announced it will soon enable stateside members to log into their accounts through mobile devices using biometric recognition.

The move makes USAA the first U.S. financial institution to offer facial and voice recognition on a mobile app to protect users from fraud and identity theft.

Starting in early 2015, all USAA members residing in the country will have the option to use their voice or face to access their account information via the mobile app.

The new feature will expand the multifactor authentication options to include a unique PIN, face and voice recognition, which will all work in conjunction with a security code generated by the app for each login.

“USAA is committed to cutting-edge solutions to make our members’ financial transactions as secure as possible,” said Gary McAlum, USAA’s chief security officer. “The use of multifactor authentication through biometrics is one of the most effective ways to increase security protection as traditional passwords become increasingly obsolete.”

Members using USAA’s facial recognition logon will be required to look at the screen and, upon being instructed, blink their eyes. Additionally, those members using the voice recognition logon will have to read out loud a short phrase.

USAA first piloted the biometric logon in California, Texas and Florida, as well as in Georgia, North Carolina, New York, Washington, Colorado, Maryland, Arizona, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, New Jersey, Ohio, Tennessee and Illinois, before deciding to expand the feature to all stateside members.

Biometric logon is part of the organization’s broader initiative to improve the overall experience for members, along with boosting security within their mobile app.

USAA recently enhanced the app to provide members the ability to immediately connect with a member service representative using a voice-over-Internet connection instead of a traditional phone call.

The new feature will soon be available through an update to the USAA mobile app for iOS and Android devices. USAA is also planning to test the use of fingerprint identification to log in to the mobile app.

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