So long, Siri: HSBC to launch voice and fingerprint recognition biometric system for up to 15 million users

Catherine Neilan
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Hello Siri? What's my password? (Source: Getty)

Always forgetting your password, have no idea what your grandmother's maiden name was or has that memorable place slipped your mind?

HSBC thinks it has the answer: the bank is planning to launch voice recognition and touch security services in the UK. So long, Siri, this is all about "voice prints".

First Direct customers will be offered to take up the voice and fingerprint recognition system in the next few weeks, while HSBC customers will follow in the summer, according to the BBC.

In total, the bank is planning to offer the service to up to 15 million customers - making it the first of its size. Barclays currently offers software, but only to select clients.

Touch ID is available on all Apple mobile devices for both HSBC and First Direct.

Francesca McDonagh, HSBC UK's head of retail banking and wealth management, said it was "the largest planned roll out of voice biometric security technology in the UK".

She said: "The launch of voice and touch ID makes it even quicker and easier for customers to access their bank account, using the most secure form of password technology - the body."

Nuance Communications is behind the technology, which is based on 100 unique identifiers including both behavioural features such as speed, cadence and pronunciation, and physical aspects including the shape of larynx, vocal tract and nasal passages.

However, some people may be concerned about HSBC going further down the digital rabbit hole. The bank has suffered recent outages to its online banking system, not once but twice within the same month, at least one of which is thought to have been caused by hackers.

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