Sunderland Barclays callcentre first in country to offer voiceprint security

Barclays' Sunderland callcentre
Barclays' Sunderland callcentre
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Sunderland’s Barclays callcentre is getting hi-tech new security, so to speak.

The banking giant has announced it is introducing voice security technology to all customers, meaning its telephone banking service will be easier to use and more secure than ever.

Mel Donoghue

Mel Donoghue

The Doxford International centre will be the first site in the UK to operate the new voice security for customers.

The technology identifies callers based solely on their voice – a highly secure method of identification that removes the need for security questions and passwords.

Each person’s voice is as unique as their fingerprint, made up of more than 100 characteristics based on the physical configuration of the speaker’s mouth and throat, so when a customer calls, the system will be able to identify them simply from the first few words spoken.

The company says voice recognition will not only make logging in quicker, it will also create a greater barrier against fraud, due to the highly personal form of identification.

There’s no need for customers to change how they bank with us, or in fact do anything differently at all – just continue to use telephone banking in the same way.

Mel Donoghue

Customers’ voice prints will be securely stored on Barclays system. They can opt out at any time, at which point their voice point will be permanently deleted.

Sunderland site president Mel Donoghue said: “We can all relate to the frustration of forgetting a password at the crucial moment.

“Voice security can cut out that part of the call completely and, unlike a password, each person’s voice is as unique as a fingerprint.”

If a customer has forgotten their password, it takes two minutes on average to get through the alternative security measures. Voice security will speed up the process significantly.

Barclays pioneered voice recognition technology by offering the service to a limited number of customers in 2013 – the first bank in Europe to do so.

The success of the trial means that the firm is now making it available to all customers from this month.

“Barclays is constantly looking at ways to improve services for customers and make it easier for them to get things done quickly; this is the perfect example of technology that does exactly that,” said Mel Donoghue.

“There’s no need for customers to change how they bank with us, or in fact do anything differently at all – just continue to use telephone banking in the same way.

“We’re committed to providing options so that our customers can choose how they want to bank with us and this is the latest iteration of the promise.”