National Australia Bank (NAB) has
rolled out biometric voice verification for its 3.3 million
domestic retail banking customers to verify the identity of callers
to its call centres.

Customers will be asked to submit a voice
sample to NAB, which becomes a secondary signature. Whenever they
then call the bank by phone, their voice is compared with the
signature held by the bank to verify the transaction.

NAB says the service will provide customers
with an extra layer of protection as a voice pattern is harder to
steal than a password or PIN.

While voice biometrics in retail banking has
yet to catch on – Dutch bank ABN AMRO was the first to run with the
technology but soon abandoned the experiment – a number of banks
are promoting the concept, notably China Merchants Bank which
implemented voice authentication technology last year.