One of the main struggles in many people’s lives is trying to remember their passwords. With more companies requiring passwords have different characters, upper and lower cases, plus a unique symbol, it makes it difficult for people to recall them off the top of their heads. Good news lies on the horizon though. Banks have been working on a solution to solve this by trying to implement voice recognition as your password instead.
On February 19th, 2016, HSBC announced that they would start implementing “voice biometric security technology” for the clients in the UK. The technology allowed banks to implement a program that would allow clients to be recognized by their voice when attempting to sign into their individual bank accounts. 15 million people are expected to have this program implemented by the 2016 summer. In addition to the voice recognition, the bank released a “touch ID” technology. For those who choose not to use their voice, they will be able to use their fingerprints to sign in.
HSBC spoke about how they plan to introduce the voice and touch technology into the Mexican, Canadian, French, American and Hong Kong markets in the near future. However, they did not release a time frame of when that would occur. The bank is not the first financial company to offer this specific technology to its clients. Barclays, Vanguard and Banco Santander Mexico have already weaved it into their client’s accounts.
Nuance Communications are the company that supplies HSBC with the voice recognition technology. They began to research vocal biometrics back in the early 90’s. It wasn’t until 2012 that banks began to have a demand to obtain this technology for their retail banking clients. Before that, many wanted it solely for their high profile clients and corporate wire transfers.
Many banks have shifted to the technology after becoming frustrated with passwords. In a 2014 study released by Verizon, two-thirds of all data breaches occurred from passwords being stolen or weak. As many banks need to reset their passwords often, it makes them vulnerable to hackers. In addition to the higher risk of attack, it often is costly and time-consuming to reset passwords.
The change from traditional passwords to voice recognition will take several years as the banking industry has millions of consumers that would need to adapt. As a high stake move, banks will move forward cautiously, but it’s more likely clients will see it mixed in with current trends.
David E. Mickey is a financial executive based in Buffalo, New York, and he’s an Enterprise Sales Executive at Docupace Technologies. Please visit his websites to learn more: http://davidemickey.com; http://davidemickey.net/; and http://davidemickey.org/.