Your Voice Is Your Password with Barclay's Phone Verification System

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The days of having to remember your childhood dog's mother's maiden name or what street your first high school mascot lived on could soon be a thing of the past. Barclay Wealth has recently introduced a verification system that uses biometrics, rather than random facts, to confirm your are who you say you are.

The "Nuance FreeSpeech" system was developed by the Nuance company and adapted to Barclay Wealth, the British institution's private banking division to shorten interaction times with customers and eliminate the need to re-verify them for every call. It captures biometric data from a short, 30-second conversation between the customer and the call center employee, matches the voiceprint to the one on file (typically with 95 percent accuracy) and grants the verified user access to their account. If the voiceprint doesn't match, the caller can fall back on the traditional knowledge-based verification techniques of listing random facts about oneself.

So far, it's been a hit with 84 percent of customers trying the service. According to Robert Weideman of Nuance, “Voice biometrics technology allows organizations such as Barclays to redefine their customer service experiences through a more intuitive and transparent authentication process, easing the burden on both customers and service agents." Hopefully this technology will make it stateside soon, so we'll stop having to provide SSNs to every time we call a service center. [Guardian - Image: AP Images]