Voice biometrics touted for financial services firms

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The financial services industry should consider voice biometrics as a more secure and convenient method of multi-factor authentication for phone or online banking..

Voice biometrics firm VeCommerce said this week that the case for voice biometrics is further strengthened with the recent introduction of an ISO global standard for deploying biometrics in financial services.

Brett Feldon, general manager for EMEA at VeCommerce, said: "Over a quarter of the UK population now regularly uses online banking but fraud continues to increase and criminals are becoming more sophisticated in their attacks.

"Over the past 12 months many financial institutions have rolled out card readers as a solution for providing second-factor authentication for online banking customers. But these have several drawbacks.

"Not only are they expensive to produce but they are costly to support with the continual loss of passwords and the actual readers. They also do not work 'out of band' and are vulnerable to 'man in the middle' attacks."

Voice biometrics provides multifactor authentication of an individual's identity through the unique properties of their voice.

A voice profile can be used to authenticate telephone and online transactions, and eliminates the need for remembering identifiers such as Pins and passwords.

"There is growing pressure on financial institutions to step up security due to the impact of anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism legislation, and financial institutions need to safeguard their own customers from the threat of fraud and minimise their own monetary losses," added Feldon.

"Voice biometrics is now a commercially viable technology and, with the new ISO 19092:2008 standard, banks now have an agreed framework and standards that they can use to implement the technology successfully."

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