One of Canada’s biggest banks, Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), has become the first in the country to introduce real-time voice authentication via natural speech. It’s intended as a secure means of replacing PIN, passwords, and cumbersome question-and-answer verification for customers calling the bank.
The system was tested in a pilot project over the summer, and is now being rolled out widely. Customers calling RBC will be asked if they would like to be enrolled for voice verification, and if they agree, a voiceprint will be made during the call, which will subsequently be used for caller authentication. That process will occur in real-time and will not require the caller to recite any predetermined phrases; the voice authentication process is almost entirely passive, occurring as the caller speaks with an RBC representative.
This kind of technology has already been popping up in other countries as part of a larger trend, and in fact a similar system was recently introduced in Canada by Manulife, a rival financial services firm to RBC. That deployment requires users to recite a specific phrase for voice authentication, but, like RBC’s new announcement, it is likely compelling other competitors in the financial services sector to embrace the convenience and security of biometric authentication.
October 5, 2015 – by Alex Perala