ANZ brings voice biometrics to mobile apps

Teams up with Nuance for voice-based authentication

ANZ is working with technology company Nuance to integrate voice biometrics into its mobile apps.

The bank plans to stage a pilot of the technology in May. The pilot will involve the bank’s staff and a number of customers and be based on the Grow by ANZ app, which offers access to insurance, banking and share trading services.

ANZ said that following the pilot it plans to implement the service in its goMoney app and then progressively roll it out across other digital services.

The voice recognition service will add an additional layer of security for transactions involving more than $1000. The bank said that previously such transactions would need to be processed in-branch or using Internet baking.

“Voice biometrics is the next step in making banking more convenient for our customers while also strengthening security,” ANZ managing director, customer experience and digital channels, Peter Dalton said.

“A person’s voice has five to 10 times as many security points than other methods such as fingerprints so we know this will improve security and be welcomed by our customers,” Dalton said in a statement.

“The technology is now so advanced that it can tell the difference between identical twins or even a voice recording.”

Nuance’s technology is believed to provide the voice recognition employed by Apple’s Siri assistant. It’s also employed by pizza chain Domino’s DRU Assist bot and a number of government agencies including the Australian Taxation Office and IP Australia.

ANZ has made some key technology hires this year, recruiting former Woolworths chief loyalty and data officer Emma Gray to be the bank’s first chief data officer and appointing Lynwen Connick — who oversaw the development of the government’s national cyber security strategy — to the role of chief information security officer.

In January, the former chief strategy officer of Dimension Data’s global cloud business, Gerard Florian, began his role as ANZ group executive technology after the bank announced in November that chief information officer Scott Collary would depart as part of a restructure.

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