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Citi Thailand Rolls Out ‘Voice Biometrics’ Authentication

First bank in Thailand to adopt vocal-recognition technology
BANGKOK – Citi Thailand has today officially launched Voice Biometrics authentication, or vocal-recognition service, allowing customers secure and convenient access to CitiPhone Banking services.
Mr. Darren Buckley, Country Head and Citi Country Officer, said “Citi has a history of exploring client friendly innovation and secure technologies that enhance convenience and flexibility for our customers. Last September Citi successfully launched fingerprint identity verification technology for customers carrying out transactions via our Mobile Banking application, and following approval from the Bank of Thailand, we are now the first bank in Thailand to offer Voice Biometrics authentication as a means of identification for our CitiPhone Banking clients. Now when our customers access basic financial transactions through CitiPhone Banking, they will no longer have to remember complicated passwords or have to answer so many personal questions, thereby enhancing convenience and security at the same time."

Voice Biometrics authentication works by verifying the identity of customers via their voice when they get through to a CitiPhone Banking Officer. On registration for the service, the system records and stores the customer’s voice as a unique ‘voice print’ and maximizes security by encoding it numerically to Binary Code format. This means customers can be confident that nobody can imitate their voice using the service.
Vira-anong Chiranakhorn Phutrakul, Consumer Business Manager, Citi Thailand said, "Citi is the first bank to roll out Voice Biometrics authentication in the financial sector in Thailand, having previously rolled it out successfully in a number of other markets such as Singapore, Hong Kong and Australia. This service enhances security in the financial sector, enabling voice authentication for most basic customer needs, such as querying due dates and amounts for credit card payments. However, for certain higher risk financial transactions, such as change of a customer’s demographic data, Citi’s customers will still be asked additional security questions. Voice Biometrics technology is highly intelligent; even if the account owner speaks in a different language from that recorded during the registration verification phase, the customer can still be securely authenticated, on average saving 45 seconds on every call. Voice authentication also recognizes when someone is trying to imitate the voice of a customer, and immediately denies access to any information or services."

At the time of registration for Citi’s Voice Biometrics service, customers will be required to call CitiPhone Banking at 1588 and agree to terms and conditions of use. Then, the system will store the customer’s voice in the form of a voiceprint, which is unique to each person. Customers will also be asked personal data questions for further identity verification purposes they may be required in the future. Once registration is complete, a text or email notification will be sent within 2- 4 hours, after which customers can start to use Citi’s Voice Biometrics service via CitiPhone Banking Officer.
“Vocal-recognition technology is another approach to preventing financial crime and the theft of customers’ financial information. However, the Voice Biometrics system remains a voluntary choice for our customers. In case that the customer does not want to use the service, they don’t have to. The bank continues to offer traditional safety measures by authentication through security questions, personal Telephone PIN or One Time Password. Financial security remains at the heart of Citi’s services”, Mrs. Phutrakul concluded.
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About Citi:
Citi, the leading global bank, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. Citi provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services, and wealth management.

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