Forget Passwords, HSBC Launches Biometric Identification In The UK


The banking sector is beefing up its security systems to prevent fraudulent activities. HSBC is keeping up with the changing times and has launched a biometric identification system for its customers in the UK.

On Friday, HSBC revealed that it would be pushing out fingerprint- and voice-enabled account access for customers in the coming months.

Thanks to the technology, the bank's customers will not have to deploy their passwords to gain access to their bank account through the mobile app or phone at First Direct and HSBC.

"Remembering the right password and PIN is challenging and customers get frustrated when they fail the security process and have to reset their details. Having one less telephone security number or PIN to remember will speed up the verification process and give the customer more time to spend talking about their financial needs," notes Warren Buckley, global head of contact centers, retail banking and wealth management for HSBC.

Nearly 15 million customers in the UK will be able to take advantage of the fingerprint and voice recognition technology by summer. The technology will initially be pushed out to HSBC's online bank First Direct, followed by account holders of HSBC.

For those wondering how secure the method will be, Buckley alleviated concerns when he revealed that like fingerprints, a person's voice is unique. The biometrics technology fueling Voice ID is focused on how a person speaks and not what they say; therefore, the language being spoken also does not matter.

Even if one has a sore throat or cold, the Voice ID can confirm the user's identity with ease. The software basically is reliant on over 100 unique vocal hallmarks, which makes this possible.

The biometric identification method by HSBC is "simpler and more secure" when compared to traditional PIN-based authentication or password methods. The biometric system of identification will make the accessing and management of an account simpler.

Currently, Barclays already has a voice recognition software in place. However, the service is only available for select clients. Banks such as RBS and NatWest make use of fingerprint technology.

HSBC's announcement comes a few weeks prior to Atom Bank's launch, which will enable its customers to log in using a facial recognition system.

The futuristic technology of biometric identification from HSBC is also expected to make its way to users in the United States later this year. HSBC will also be introducing it in Mexico, Hong Kong, France and Canada subject to regulatory approval.

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