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U.S. Bank Adds Voice Biometrics to Its Mobile App

U.S. Bank is piloting voice technology to authenticate account holders accessing accounts through mobile devices.
Posted Feb 18, 2014
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U.S. Bank has begun piloting voice biometrics software from Nuance Communications to let customers speak simple passphrases to access their credit card accounts on mobile devices.

Voice biometrics allows select credit card customers to use their voice to login with a spoken passphrase so they can access their account balances, search transactions, and make payments through the mobile app.

"Voice biometrics is a unique identifier that will help us improve the customer experience," said Dominic Venturo, chief innovation officer at U.S. Bank Payment Services, in a statement. "Customers are becoming accustomed to using their voice to interact with their smartphones and can become frustrated with key entering passwords. Exploring a spoken passphrase login through this technology is a logical next step in our work in biometrics."

"We've seen unprecedented growth in the adoption of voice biometrics as consumers worldwide have become used to more conversational engagement with their devices, apps, and service experiences," said Robert Weideman, executive vice president and general manager of the Nuance Enterprise Division, in a statement. "Innovative organizations like U.S. Bank recognize that voice biometrics can bring a new level of convenience and security to the customer service experience. By eliminating the interrogation process that consumers are typically put through and replacing it with a natural, conversational voice interaction, companies can really start to reinvent their customer service experience."

This latest pilot expands the work U.S. Bank and Nuance began in April, in which voice recognition was used for conducting basic functions, such as to view account balances, search transactions, and make a payment on their accounts. As part of that trial, the bank, which is based in Minneapolis, began testing Nuance's natural language voice-based virtual assistant, Nina, to provide customers access to interactive and self-service options. This includes enabling FlexPerks Travel Rewards Visa Signature customers to use their voices to view account balances, search transactions, and make payments on their accounts right within the FlexPerks mobile app.

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