ANZ Takes Biometrics to the Next Level

ANZ Bank takes the next step in biometrics.

Source: ANZ
ANZ Bank was the first bank in Australia to commit to Apple Pay. Source: ANZ

Australia’s financial services industry is continuing to make heavy investments in bridging the gap between their services and their customers’ digital footprint. The latest example is ANZ Bank’s announcement that they will be using biometric technology in their banking app.

In a move that looks to heighten security as well as the customer experience, customers of the bank will now be able to use their voice to authorise mobile app transactions of $1000 or more.

Previously, making a payment of over $1000 required logging into internet banking or the prehistoric ritual of going into a physical branch. This latest innovation will result in customers being able to use their voice as a method of authentication, turning an arduous task into something that, in principle, will be relatively straight forward.

Speaking of the innovation, ANZ Bank’s Peter Dalton said in a press statement:

“One of the key challenges today for banking as the world becomes more digital is making it easier for customers to do what they want to do in a safe and secure way.

“Voice biometrics is the next step in making banking more convenient for our customers while also strengthening security”.

In the bank’s view, it is a win-win for the modern customer who has a liberal approach to digital engagement but still expects a secure banking service.

ANZ Bank has become the first of the major banks to develop the technology. It is scheduled to be released mid-way through the year. The bank has a history of innovation with this type of technology, as it was also the first bank to enter an agreement with Apple to be on the Apple Pay platform.

Biometrics in Australia’s Financial Services Industry:

Biometrics is slowly creeping into many of Australia’s leading banking organisations digital strategies. Here are some major inroads the industry has taken:

  • Apple Pay: Apple Pay has AMEX, ING Direct, Macquarie Bank, ANZ, Bank Australia, Beyond Bank, CUA, Defence Bank, Macquarie Bank, MyState, QT Mutual Bank and Teachers Mutual Bank all signed up in Australia. Apple Pay uses fingerprint authentication which enables its service to offer a “one touch” payment method.
  • CBA: In February, CBA announced its South African subsidiary, Tyme, had attracted 100,000 new customers via its biometric authentication kiosks. ITNews reported that the bank has been using the technology to process new customers in under four minutes at a cost of just $4 per acquisition.
  • NAB: Like ANZ, NAB was an early adopter of voice recognition as a way of authenticating customers who call into their call centres. In 2012, the bank rolled out “Speech Security” for its staff and in 2013 rolled it out to its customers.
  • Westpac: Westpac was one of the first banks globally to take advantage of Apple’s iOS in allowing its customers to log-in to internet banking via fingerprint authentication. ING Direct also did this in 2015.