India-based ICICI Bank is now using voice biometrics to identify customers, according to a Business Standard article. The system is apparently going to be used both for the bank’s call-in services and for its mobile app.
It’s meant to make life easier for customers. Speaking to the BS reporter, ICICI Bank CEO Chanda Kochhar noted that “customers, especially those who use smartphones, find it difficult to enter the 16-digit card number and the four-digit PIN with accuracy and at a reasonable speed,” and explained that the voice recognition system “has the potential to increase security and convenience.” It will have a huge impact, if so, given that the bank expects 33 million of its customers to take advantage of the system.
This kind of technology is increasingly popular in the financial services sector. While it’s already pretty prominent in call center deployments, it’s also finding its way into more and more mobile apps, in which case it can be particularly effective as part of a multimodal authentication system. In ICICI’s case, it could be a particularly welcome development for customers, given that biometric technology is becoming very familiar as India’s government continues to expand its ambitious Aadhaar national ID program.