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HSBC embraces biometric banking with voice and fingerprint login

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HSBC customers soon won’t need passwords or memorable questions when logging into their account online, as the bank is embracing biometrics.

The company is rolling out fingerprint and voice-recognition security to 15 million of its customers, starting with those who bank with First Direct.

Fingerprint login will be available to iOS users via Apple’s Touch ID sensors and HSBC’s mobile application.

Voice recognition is powered by technology from Nuance, the company behind Siri’s speech engine, and will take cadence of speech and pronunciation, as well as the shape of the user’s larynx and nasal passages, into account when analysing vocals.

Programming the software to detect these subtle variables ensures users won’t be locked out of their account when they’re all bunged up with a cold.

Joe Gordon, UK head of customer contact at HSBC, told BBC News: “We will be able to cope with people who have got colds or slight impediments.

“Things such as the size of your mouth or your vocal tract don’t change. Neither do your cadence or your accent when you’ve got those little colds.”

HSBC is aiming to roll the biometic services out to all of its customers by the summer.

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