Telephone banking has fallen among Australians, and banks need to invest in the channel or risk clients increasing their use of more costly options such as branches. Biometric voice authentication will help make telephone banking more accessible.
Citibank has announced it is rolling out biometric voice authentication across its Asia Pacific client base, including Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore, after successful implementation in Taiwan. The software automatically verifies customers phoning the call centre via their unique voice print.
Telephone banking remains a key channel in Australia, even if it has fallen behind mobile banking in frequency of use. As per the Verdict Financial 2015 Retail Banking Insight Survey, 37% of Australians use mobile at least monthly, while only 17% use telephone banking. Its importance lies in its customer service role: Australians still want to talk to someone when lodging a complaint (32% of retail consumers) and querying a transaction (29%).
For banks that lack an extensive branch network in Australia, such as foreign banks like Citi, ING and HSBC (and even regional locals such as Bank of Queensland and Bendigo), an accessible call centre is critical to economically serve a geographically wide customer base. Biometric voice authentication makes telephone banking less like an inefficient version of an online portal, with its menu options and multiple keying, and more like a conversation at a branch. This means a more effective telephone banking channel as a means for troubleshooting and cross-selling, reducing the need for a large (and costly) branch network.
– This article is reproduced with kind permission from Verdict Financial. Some minor changes have been made to reflect BankNXT style considerations. Read more here. Photo: Brian A Jackson, Shutterstock.com