U.S. Bank is expanding its mobile voice-recognition pilot program to include a new feature that lets customers use their voice to authenticate themselves, instead of having to enter their login credentials.
In April 2013, U.S. Bank began testing a mobile feature that allowed employees to use their voices to view account balances, search transactions and make payments. It was available for U.S. Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards Visa Signature cardholders through the FlexPerks mobile app.
The bank will now use voice biometrics to validate a customer who wants to access their credit card accounts. For instance, a customer would say, “My voice is my password,” to log in.
U.S. Bank is working with Nuance Communications, a communications technology vendor, to provide the voice recognition technology.
“Customers are becoming accustomed to using their voice to interact with their smartphones and can become frustrated with key entering passwords,” said Dominic Venturo, chief innovation officer at U.S. Bank, in a press release. “Exploring a spoken passphrase login through this technology is a logical next step in our work in biometrics.”
U.S. Bank is not the only major U.S. financial institution that is experimenting with voice-recognition technology.
Wells Fargo is reportedly looking at similar technology for its mobile banking applications. USAA already allows customers to navigate its mobile apps through voice.
Meanwhile, other banks are employing different methods for customers to log in and access their accounts through mobile devices. HSBC recently announced that it would require a one-time code to perform certain account transfers. First Niagara Bank launched a feature that lets customers see balances on accounts without having to log in.
The adoption of voice-controlled access to financial accounts may render these other features insignificant.