ANZ will now use voice recognition to skip passwords for payments over $1000

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ANZ Bank will introduce voice biometrics to allow high-value payments on its mobile app.

The first major tech initiative since former Google Australia managing director Maile Carnegie joined the bank last year as its digital tsar will allow customers to push through payments greater than $1,000 through the mobile app – a function currently only allowed through desktop internet banking or physical branches.

ANZ customer experience and digital channels managing director Peter Dalton claimed that voice has “five-to-10 times” more security points than other forms of biometrics, such as fingerprints.

“The technology is now so advanced that it can tell the difference between identical twins or even a voice recording,” he said. “We know this will improve security and be welcomed by our customers.”

The voice recognition functionality, to be rolled out in mid-2017, was developed in conjunction with tech company Nuance, which also worked with the Australian Taxation Office to develop its voice assistant.

Dalton said ANZ was aware people were becoming more used to using their voice to send commands to electronic devices, so sees the new biometric capability as “a natural extension of current technology” and expects high usage.

A pilot will start in May with bank staff and selected customers using the Grow by ANZ app, with the function to be deployed to gradually to other digital services.

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