The tech firm behind USAA's digital assistant has introduced an authentication tool that identifies customers by the sound of their voice or by their facial features.

On Wednesday, Nuance Communications in Burlington, Mass., announced Nina ID 2.0, which uses voice biometrics and face recognition technology. The company said the technology removes the need for customers to remember passwords and allows companies to improve their customer service.

"Consumers today need to be able to reach out and engage with brands quickly and easily — wherever they are — and that's often from a mobile device," said Robert Weideman, general manager of Nuance's enterprise division. "Nina ID brings to the virtual assistant world the same proven Nuance biometrics technologies used by millions of consumers via leading organizations."

Besides USAA, Nuance said its customers include Barclays, ING Netherlands, Tangerine Bank and Santander Mexico.

Although Nuance makes the technology behind USAA's assistant, the San Antonio-based company works with the software firm Daon in Fairfax, Va., for its biometric authentication. It rolled out face and voice recognition in early 2015.