America’s oldest and biggest mutual bank is adopting voice biometrics for caller identification. Eastern Bank has announced that Nuance Communications will be providing voice recognition technology for its call-in system so that callers’ identities can be authenticated passively as they talk.
The voice recognition technology will replace the bank’s old security question system, and was installed partly in response to customer feedback expressing frustration with the cumbersome security process. Like so many other banks that have adopted such systems, Eastern Bank views it as an improvement to both security and the customer experience. In a statement announcing the system, Eastern Bank President and COO Bob Rivers explained that it “allows our customers to get service in the most natural and intuitive way, through their voice.”
It’s also a way for a large organization to demonstrate its appetite for new technologies and innovation. Eastern Bank is the first in North America to use this kind of voice biometrics system in its call center, a distinction that shows that “Eastern Bank is ahead of the innovation curve,” according to Nuance executive Robert Weiderman. Other financial institutions have also seen the brand benefits of being early adopters of biometric technologies, and the strategy seems to pay off in improved customer perceptions. By taking this bold step, Eastern could stand to both improve its customer loyalty and perhaps even attract new customers looking for a bank that’s at the tech forefront.