The Future of Secure Mobile Banking: Voice Biometrics

The ubiquity of mobile devices is changing the way users’ access financial services. More and more users are opting for online and mobile banking options over visiting local branches in these days.

Mobile banking delivers unique business value both for users and banks. While being able to complete many banking transactions at the ease of a mobile device means a practical banking experience for customers; being able to push these transactions to mobile means more automatization, less workload, increased productivity and reduced costs for banks.

Increasing Need for Mobile Security

The number of banks which provide mobile banking services is on the rise and it seems like use of this technology will be rising in the near future. According to Economist Intelligence Unit’s executive survey, 82% of retail bankers agree or strongly agree that in the next five years mobile will become the number one channel for millennials and younger consumers.

Adopting new technologies for the sake of enhanced customer experience is a must for today’s banks. But there is another issue that needs to be taken into account: Security. Despite the increased prevalence of mobile banking is increasing, a significant number of people believe the technology to be unsafe or do not know how safe it is which constitutes one of the main impediments to the adoption of mobile financial services. According to Consumers and Mobile Financial Services 2015 Report of Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, 62% of consumers prefer not using mobile banking even though they own a mobile phone and bank account, since they are concerned about security.

All these concerns show that banks need to pay closer attention to security and look for the most convenient method that meets the needs of customers in terms of experience and security which points out to biometrics. As SecureIDNews reports, according to the Biometrics for Banking; Market and Technology Analysis, Adoption Strategies and Forecasts 2015-2020 report of Goode Intelligence,  by 2017 there will be more than one billion users accessing banking services through biometric systems and by 2020 bank customers will use biometrics as the predominant method of identifying themselves to access bank services.

Why Voice Biometrics?

Although facial recognition and fingerprint have already started to be used as biometric measures, voice biometrics is still the most dominant method when it comes to mobile banking security since it functions independently of the device type. Besides, voice biometrics is a cost-effective method compared to other biometric authentication methods. By using existing microphones in mobile devices, the technology does not require any hardware investment by the user and eliminates the related costs.

Continuous developments in the technology including enhanced voice capture capability as a result of improvements in microphones, sophisticated algorithms as a result of increased computational processing power lets voice biometrics provide more reliable and accurate authentication which means an effective measure against fraud. Since our voice is open to changes that result from various factors like background noise, illness and aging; so do our voiceprints. However voice biometrics analyzes users’ voiceprints by looking at underlying features of their voice which are less prone to change which raises the reliability and accuracy of the technology.

Mobile voice biometrics means a competitive advantage for companies since it provides a fast and convenient authentication solution. Voice biometric authentication saves customers from time consuming conventional security methods like PINs, passwords and security questions. The technology also eliminates the need to carry around personal security credentials or keep them in a mobile device. Besides, the technology enables users to have greater control over their finances by using their own voice as a security tool.


Increasing use of mobile devices in banking, raises security concerns. Organizations who incorporate voice biometrics into mobile banking applications can gain an advantage over competitors by providing a fast, convenient and secure authentication method in a way that not only eliminates security concerns but also encourages mobile banking use.

Author: Hilal Bakanay, Senior Marketing Specialist, Sestek