Barclays threw out security questions for telephone banking access this week and began using voice recognition technology, representing a step in an industry-wide move to eliminate passwords and challenge questions.

The British bank is using technology by Nuance, which uses more than 100 speech identifiers to capture a user's voiceprint like speed, emphasis and pronunciation, as well as vocal tract, nasal passage and larynx shape, Engadget reported Tuesday.

The move follows HSBC's similar move with voice ID as well as Lloyd's Banking Group's exploration of customer typing pattern recognition to guard account access.

Barclays has been testing the voice ID technology among certain customers for several years but made it widely available to consumer account holders to opt into Tuesday. Those who opt in must call in two or three times for the system to capture their voiceprint.

The bank wants to base its authentication systems on new technologies that will add as much convenience for customers as security, but they should not be viewed as an invasion of privacy or a means of acquiring personal information, Barclays’ personal banking chief, Steven Cooper, told the Telegraph.

“We have been testing it for a while to make sure it will work with the vast majority of people and that we won’t have a high rejection rate,” Cooper told the Telegraph. “It is no more personal than [storing] a password or a recent transaction which could include buying something you don’t want to talk about."

Subscribe Now

Authoritative analysis and perspective for every segment of the payments industry

14-Day Free Trial

Authoritative analysis and perspective for every segment of the industry