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Santander launches voice recognition security checks

Santander will let customers use voice recognition technology instead of security numbers to prove their identities when using telephone banking.

Customers using the voice recognition service will need to call Santander's telephone banking from their mobile and repeat a short phrase. 

The voice will then be analysed by biometric voice recognition software to make sure it belongs to the right customer – and Santander says it's so sophisticated it won't be fooled by a recording of the customer's voice.  

Santander is the latest bank to introduce voice recognition security checks, already used by Bank of Scotland, Barclays, First Direct, HSBC, Halifax and Lloyds. 

It's currently rolling out the service and says all customers will be able to use it by June – but you can activate it now by calling 0800 9123 123. 

How does the voice recognition software work?

When customers activate the service, they'll be asked to repeat a short phrase several times to create a 'voice print'. 

And when they call in future, they'll be asked to repeat the same phrase so the technology can compare it with the original voice print.  

The service also uses phone ID technology to check that customers are calling from a phone that is only registered to them, eg, their mobile rather than a shared landline. 

Customers who don't want to use the voice recognition tool can carry on using their current security checks for telephone banking. 

What does Santander say?

Reza Attar-Zadeh, head of customer interactions at Santander, said: "The human voice contains over 100 voice characteristics we can use to ensure that a caller is who they say they are, further protecting our customers' accounts from fraudsters."

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