MARCH 2016/ISSUE 25.07


HSBC/first direct claim UK biometric banking milestone UK banks place their bets on voice recognition technology and look to take biometrics mainstream

the shape of larynx, vocal tract and nasal passages. For customers that choose to opt-in, they enrol their ‘voice print’ and are no longer required to remember or recite their telephone security password letters or PIN. First direct will begin to enrol customers for

HSBC and first direct are rolling out a new voice-activated biometric security system, sup- plied by Nuance Communications, enabling UK customers to access their mobile and telephone accounts. The tech works by cross-checking against over 100 unique identifiers and includes both behavioural features such as speed, cadence and pronunciation, and physical aspects including

voice ID in the coming weeks and will be followed by HSBC during the summer. Touch ID is currently available on all Apple mobile devices for both banks. Customers need to download the mobile app and follow the instructions to link their fingerprint to it. Consumers have not exactly rushed to em-

brace so-called body banking, preferring to stick with tried and trusted passwords and PIN-based identity verification. These are far from perfect but it seems that the man and woman in the street are operating on a ‘better the devil you know’ basis here. Biometrics technology for payment

and customer authentication applications will continue to improve while decreasing in price, but adoption levels are likely to remain low until concerns about privacy, security, and safety are successfully addressed via the likes of educational programmes. In the meantime, there is a lot of activity in

this area. Also in the UK, NatWest has claimed the title of first UK-based bank to leverage Apple’s third party API for touch ID within its mobile app. Whilst Tatra Bank in Slovakia went down this route in 2013, and now has more than 250,000 registered customer voice samples (one third of its customer database); it claims that the average time of client identification process has been reduced by 66%, to 27 seconds per customer. Whilst 85% of all calls to the bank’s contact centre requiring authentication are now verified by voice. Scott Thompson

FSB’s Carney: Regulators to pay close attention FinTech ventures added to the list of things keeping the powers that be up at night

The Financial Stability Board is to start looking into whether the booming FinTech sector presents any risk to the financial system. Mark Carney, head of the international group of policymakers and regulators, said in a letter to central bankers and finance ministers from the group of 20 economies meeting in Shanghai during February: “A number of technological innovations with potentially transformative implications for the financial system, its intermediaries and users are now re- ceiving close attention. The regulatory framework must ensure that it is able to manage any systemic

risks that may arise from technological change without stifling innovation.” He added: “The FSB is evaluating the potential financial stability implications of emerging finan- cial technology innovation for the financial system as a whole, working with standard setters that are monitoring developments in their respective sectors. We are also working to understand better the potential impacts on financial stability of oper- ational disruption to core financial institutions or infrastructure.” It’s the first time that regulators on a global

level have begun sizing up FinTech; they have thus far kept their distance from a sector that is seeing record levels of investment and creating many jobs in countries like the US and UK. Scott Thompson


IBS Journal material may not be reproduced in any form without the written permission of the publisher. © 2016 IBS Intelligence, a division of Cedar Management Consulting International, LLC.

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