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Santander's voice app becomes first to allow customers to move money

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The frustration of a forgotten password may soon become a thing of the past for online bankers, reported Sky News.

If you are a Santander customer, you will soon be able to check your bank account and authorise payments using just your voice.

While other banks have used voice biometrics as a logging-in tool, Santander's recent update to its iPhone SmartBank app means it is the first UK high street bank to let customers use speech to carry out actions on their account.

Customers who set up the function will also be able to report a stolen card.

In what the bank hopes will provide "a friction-free user experience", it says it wants to offer customers "another channel of choice in how they wish to bank".

The new technology is currently being piloted on the iOS version of the bank's official app.

Santander head of technology innovation Ed Metzger said: "This pioneering technology has huge potential to become an integral part of the future banking experience, playing a transformational role in the industry and redefining how customers choose to manage their money."

Biometric authentication relies on the measurement of some intrinsic characteristic of the user, including fingerprints, eyes, face and voice.

Apple and Samsung both offer a fingerprint scanner option on their mobile devices, in place of the traditional password or passcode.

Last year, MasterCard Incorporation launched a pilot project allowing customers to use facial recognition at the checkout, simply taking a 'selfie' to authenticate payments.

And this year, Ant Financial Services Group acquired EyeVerify, a 99.9% accurate eye-verification technology.

However, development of biometric technology raises various privacy and ethical issues, with some concerned that information obtained in order to set up authentication could be used without the user's permission for other purposes.

A survey by US cyber security firm SecureAuth earlier this year showed that nearly half of UK firms were intending to deploy biometric authentication within the next five years.

Read more at skynews.com.

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