Royal Bank of Canada to Provide Voice Biometric Authentication for Customers

As technology has evolved to a greater extent in recent times, it has been found that passwords can be easily broken. Passwords & PINs are considered too weak to authenticate a user. As payments fraud rates continue to rise, financial institutions have started considering biometric techniques for providing their customer a safe and secure banking environment. A survey by MasterCard found that 83% of consumers were excited about new secure technologies helping to protect their financial information. The survey also stated that three-fourths (75%) of consumers confirmed that they have heard of biometric payments.

The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) has become the first bank in the country to provide voice biometric authentication to its customers. The new RBC Secure Voice verifies the customer’s identity through a natural conversation within seconds. This will eliminate the need for passwords/PINs or responding to a standard set of authentication questions. The bank’s Secure Voice Service is being developed by tech company Nuance Communications.

With RBC Secure Voice, our advisors can begin assisting our clients right away—an added convenience our clients are already telling us that they really appreciate, explained Claude DeMone, Vice President of Business Enablement at RBC, in the bank’s press release. We realize the typical verification process can sometimes seem like a series of skill-testing questions—RBC Secure Voice simplifies this process significantly. All you need to do is talk to an RBC advisor and the distinctive qualities of your voice take care of all the rest.

The bank did a pilot phase this summer which included the implementation of this service in its call centers. The service will be phased over a three-month period.

According to the bank’s press release, enrolment and activation for the voice biometric authentication is a simple four-step process:

1. When an RBC client calls an RBC Contact Centre to discuss their financial needs, the advisor offers to enroll them in this free voice verification service.

2. If the client agrees, the advisor records a voiceprint that is unique to that individual.

3. The voiceprint is encrypted and stored on RBC’s secure server.

4. The next time the client calls an RBC Contact Centre, their identity is quickly verified by matching their live voice with their voiceprint – a process that takes only seconds to complete.

About RBC:

The Royal Bank of Canada is Canada’s largest bank and one of the largest banks in the world based on market capitalization. It is one of North America’s leading diversified financial services companies, and provides personal and commercial banking, wealth management, insurance, investor services and capital markets products and services on a global basis. RBC employs approximately 79,000 full-time and part-time employees who serve more than 16 million personal, businesses, public sector and institutional clients through offices in Canada, the US and 38 other countries.

RBC supports a broad range of community initiatives through donations, sponsorships and employee volunteer activities. In 2014, RBC contributed more than $111 million to causes worldwide, including donations and community investments of more than $76 million and $35 million in sponsorships. For more information, please click here.