Citi Claims One Million Users In Asia For Its Voice Authentication Tool

Over one million of Citi’s consumer banking customers in Asia Pacific has used its voice biometrics authentication service, after the tool was launched in May 2016, the bank said today in an announcement.

It means remembering multiple passwords and responding to a series of questions to verify their identities will be a thing of the past, as customers who call into the bank’s call centers will have their identity automatically verified within 15 seconds or less as they explain their reason for calling. This is a reduction from an average time of around 45 seconds currently, or 66% less time spent, verifying their details currently.

Voice biometrics authentication has been implemented in Taiwan, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand and India. Citi was the first financial services firm to deploy voice biometrics authentication across Asia Pacific.

The voice biometrics authentication capability identifies customers through their voice print, which, similar to a fingerprint, is unique to each person. Citi customers can opt to enroll by recording their voices, which the bank will use to generate and store their voice prints for matching subsequent calls to Citibank. Each voice print is uniquely tagged and cannot be reverse engineered once stored.

"We are making banking easier for our clients by leveraging digitization and innovation which helps deliver a remarkable client experience. The rapid adoption of mobile and other digital channels has truly transformed how people bank and we are delighted that Voice Biometrics has proved such a hit with our clients," said Anand Selva, Head of Asia Pacific Consumer Banking for Citi.

During 2016, Citi’s Consumer Banking business in Asia Pacific, that spans 12 of 19 global consumer markets, was transformed into a model that is simpler, dramatically faster, more scalable and far more digital.

In 2016, Citi announced a new digital innovation or partnership fortnightly on average. Today, more than half of the bank’s consumer bank clients use digital channels with mobile being the fastest growing channel with 35% growth year-on-year.

One out of every four new credit card accounts acquired comes from digital sources and over 50% of the bank’s clients are actively using digital banking channels, up from 30% three years ago.

During 2016, Citi announced strategic partnerships in leading digital ecosystems across the region. Some of these included Alibaba’s Alipay and Tencent’s WeChat in China, and Line in Thailand and Taiwan.

The bank also formed digital credit card partnerships with the likes of Amazon, Airbnb, Grab, Uber, Lazada and Air Asia in various countries across Asia. The bank’s social media followers in Asia grew from three million to over ten million during 2016.

During 2016, Citi launched the newly-refreshed Citi Mobile App across the region featuring easy-to-use functionality and interface such as Snapshot and Touch ID, which has seen over two million downloads to-date.

These investments have supported growth with Citi reporting strong financials in Asia during 2016. In the fourth quarter 2016, the bank reported revenues of US$3.2 billion, up 4% year-on-year with earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) of US$1.2 billion, up 18% year-on-year.

For 2016 overall, Citi Asia Pacific generated revenues of US$13.2 billion, earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) and net income of US$4.9 billion and US$3.3 billion respectively.

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  1. It’s really worrying that so many people are still so tragically misinformed. Biometrics should not be brought in where you need to be security-conscious.

    Authentication by biometrics comes with poorer security than PIN/password-only authentication. This video explains how biomerics makes a backdoor to password-protected information.