News : Your Voice to Become the New Password for Phone Banking
Chennai, India, July 28, 2016 -- Phone banking is cumbersome at the best of times, with users required to punch in number after number for authentication. "First you type in your account or card number, then your T-PIN or date of birth, followed by the expiry date or CVV on your debit card. It is long, cumbersome and expensive for both Indian and NRI customers on international calls," says ICICI Bank executive director Rajiv Sabharwal.
A quicker method of authentication would help, especially in emergencies, such as when a panicky customer is trying to report loss or theft of the card. Enter voice recognition -- it promises instant authentication, and is already being rolled out by ICICI Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank and a few others. ICICI Bank, which started using voice recognition in May 2015, has already got 3 million customers on board and hopes to add another million by the year-end.
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Is it as safe as, say, fingerprint? Sabharwal says a person's voice is even more unique than fingerprint. "Each person has their own speech pattern and we capture seven metrics like inflection, speed, tone and modulation for our voice recognition database."
ICICI Bank hopes to extend the facility to all its customers at ATMs, kiosks and even branches, although for now it is only using it at its customer care call centre.
Kotak Mahindra Bank is looking at voice recognition in regional languages for financial inclusion in rural areas. "We don't want to innovate for the sake of innovation. Financial inclusion is always at the front of our technological advances," says Kotak Mahindra's head of digital initiatives Deepak Sharma.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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