Monday 1 August 2016 6:56 am

Barclays is ditching telephone passwords for voice recognition

Barclays is making passwords for telephone banking obsolete by rolling out voice recognition technology to all its customers.

The use of biometric technology is being explored by several banks, but Barclays is the first UK bank to make the technology – which works in the same way as a fingerprint – widely available.

Read more: Passwords are passe: Nationwide is testing behavioural biometrics

The bank said it will make accessing its banking services quicker and also reduce fraud.

“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," said personal banking chief Steven Cooper.

"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 this process significantly."

Barclays first began trialling the technology with some customers in 2013. It has also introduced video banking which lets customers speak to advisers without having to head to a bricks and mortar branch.

Read more: HSBC launching "voice print" systems for 15m users

In addition to making life easier for customers, banks are making digital developments and moving toward automation to reduce costs.

HSBC earlier this year said it was introducing voice and fingerprint ID to login into accounts over the summer while Nationwide added fingerprint identification to its recently relaunched banking app and is experimenting with other biometric technologies.

Barclays customers wanting to use voice recognition will create a unique voice print that records the particular characteristics of how they speak which can then be used to verify who they are.