Lloyds, Halifax and Bank of Scotland launch Voice ID

Bank of Scotland, Halifax, and Lloyds Bank have launched Voice ID for their customers. Voice ID means that customers can choose to use their voice to verify themselves over the telephone.

Voice ID or speaker recognition is the identification of an individual from voice biometrics, i.e., voice characteristics. We also call it voice recognition.

Do not confuse the term speaker recognition with speech recognition. Speaker recognition recognizes who the speaker is, while speech recognition recognizes what he or she is talking about. According to Wikipedia, the term ‘voice recognition’ may refer to either speaker recognition or speech recognition.

TechTarget has the following definition of Voice ID:

“Voice ID (sometimes called voice authentication) is a type of user authentication that uses voiceprint biometrics, voice ID relies on the fact that vocal characteristics, like fingerprints and the patterns of people’s irises, are unique for each individual.”

How does Voice ID work?

  • The customer registers for Voice ID.
  • They will be asked for their account number and card and verified.
  • They must then say ‘my voice is my password,’ to create a voiceprint that is unique to them.
  • The next time they telephone to access their account, the voice authentication system analyzes more than 10 unique voice characteristics. A person’s accent and speed of speech, for example, are two voice characteristics. The shape and size of their vocal cords are also characteristics that the system analyzes.
  • If there is a successful match, it then grants the customer access to his or her account.
Voice ID - Lloyds Halifax and Bank of Scotland
With Voice ID, the customer just needs to speak rather than using a password.

Safer, quicker, and easier

Managing Director of Telephone Banking at Lloyds Banking Group, Martin Dodd, said:

Today we use hundreds of passwords across our connected lives, and remembering each one can be difficult.”

“Voice ID makes telephone banking with us safer, quicker and easier than having to remember often cumbersome passwords, and we’re proud to have made this technology available to our customers.”

Voice ID testing

Lloyds says that it has carried out significant testing of the voice authentication system. It conducted a pilot trial which included more than 50,000 customers.

In a press release, Lloyds stated:

“Working with the providers of the technology, biometrics, and conversational AI expert Nuance, registered customers of the Group’s core banking brands are now able to benefit from a more seamless verification process when they call their bank.”

AI stands for artificial intelligence. Artificial intelligence refers to software technologies that make robots and computers think like humans. It also makes them behave like humans.

General Manager of the security business for Nuance Enterprise, Brett Beranek, said:

“Voice biometrics far outpaces traditional authentication because it’s safe, convenient and more effective than pins and passwords for consumers.”

“It is also inherently more difficult for a fraudster to replicate an individual’s voice than it is to get their knowledge-based password.”