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The Future of Security Biometrics: You Knew Me at “Hello”


In today’s world, it is not just the younger generation (or Gen Z in my case) that are becoming more comfortable talking to their smartphones, Google® Home, and Alexa for everyday functions. These types of major technology companies are defining consumers’ expectations and behavior, and it won’t be long until this trickles down to the financial services sector and for consumers to expect banks to provide voice recognition technology.

The user experience continues to be the primary driver in user acceptance, and voice activated transactions will be no exception. Users will also expect these devices to know who they are just by speaking in natural language. Today, voice biometric technology has improved to the point that both false acceptance rates and false rejection rates are quite low, and there is no longer a need for a specific pass phrase. This can be an intuitive and seamless way to accurately authenticate users without extra friction.

The Jack Henry & Associates® Strategic Initiatives Group conducted research last year asking our banks with greater than $1B in assets how likely they were to implement listed authentication technologies.


Taking fingerprint off the table because it is now almost standard practice to offer, facial recognition was the biometric most likely to be implemented, but voice was a close second. Both of these biometrics offer a valid use case since they use hardware already in most devices, the camera and microphone. Voice biometrics, though, can be considered one of the more attractive options due to the fact that it can work in multiple channels. If the iPhone® 8 rumors are true and there is no longer a home button for Touch ID, then the need for authentication to be hardware agnostic is more important than ever. 

It is anyone’s guess who will lead the voice biometric charge but once someone figures out a 100% effective voice authentication method, that will take off. No one would have to stop to take a picture or line up your fingerprint just right. Just start talking. And if the Waze℠ app is any indication (now allowing users to record their own voice for navigation commands), consumers love the sound of their own voice.

What do you think about the biometrics craze? What sort of security biometrics are you looking forward to (or worrying about) in the future?

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