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Banking & Finance

Citi Vietnam launches voice biometrics authentication

Released at: 11:30, 28/10/2016

Citi Vietnam launches voice biometrics authentication

Photo: Citi

New technology allows for customer identification based on their voiceprint and replaces the need for PIN numbers and passwords.

by Linh San

Citi has announced the launch of its voice biometrics authentication system for customers who contact its call center, which will replace the existing system that involves customers remembering multiple PIN numbers and answers to personal questions.

The bank is the first and only financial institution in Vietnam and Asia to introduce the cutting-edge technology into its daily banking activities.

“Biometrics will play a critical part in the future of banking and Citi is paving the way locally as a premier global digital banking leader,” said Ms. Natasha Ansell, Citi Country Officer for Vietnam. “Call centers receive increasing numbers of calls annually, of which a large portion are manually verified. We are relentlessly focused on making it more convenient for our customers to bank with us. With voice biometrics authentication we make the verification process easier, faster, and more secure.”

Citi Vietnam customers will no longer need to remember passwords or PIN numbers or answer a series of questions to verify their identity. Instead, they can enroll in Citi’s voice biometrics verification program, which will automatically verify their identity through a unique voiceprint.

Once enrolled, customers who contact the bank’s call centers will have their identity automatically verified within 15 seconds or less as they explain the reason for calling. This is a reduction from an average time of around 45 seconds, in which customers have to answer a series of questions to verify their identity.

The voice biometrics authentication system identifies customers through their voice print, which, similar to a fingerprint, is unique to each person. Citi clients can opt to enroll by recording their voices, which the bank will use to generate and store their voice prints for matching subsequent calls. Each voice print will be uniquely tagged and cannot be reverse engineered once stored.

Citi’s voice biometrics system has been rolled out in several countries after an initial run in the US. It is currently being implemented in Taiwan, Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, and the Philippines. Vietnam is the seventh country in the Asia-Pacific region to have the service.

Earlier this year, Citi introduced Touch ID, a technology that uses fingerprints to verify customers using Mobile Banking on an iPhone. Customers need not memorize their username and password, with a fingerprint being all that is needed, enhancing the customer experience and reducing the possibility of usernames and passwords being forgotten. To further improve customer convenience, Citi also introduced its Snap Shot feature in Mobile Banking (available on all smartphones), providing customers with a brief summary of all their Citi accounts without having to log on.

Citi won Best Digital Bank for Consumer Banking in Vietnam in 2015 and 2016 and Best Digital Bank for Corporate/Institutional Banking in Vietnam in 2016 from Global Finance magazine.

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