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Santander launches voice-controlled banking

Santander has made technology available that enables its customers to control its mobile banking app and access information using their voices

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Mobile software

Santander has provided customers with voice-control technology to find out information through the bank’s mobile app.

The technology – provided by Nuance Communications – offers more than voice-controlled security, as it allows customers to ask questions which involves the app collating information.  

Santander's voice-control technology is available to iOS users of its SmartBank app.

The first phase of the roll-out will give customers the ability to ask about their card spend. Questions that the app could answer include: "Where did I spend the most money this month?"

The second phase later this year will provide more voice-cotrolled services. These include payments and reporting lost cards.

“Technology is rapidly changing how customers bank and pay on the move,” said Nathan Bostock, CEO at Santander UK. “We want banking to be simple, personal and fair and we believe technology, like voice banking, will play a transformational role in the way we add value by creating more choice and convenience for our customers.”

Santander said vulnerable customers could find speaking easier than typing or using online banking.

Voice is being used in other parts of Europe already, but Santander is claiming a UK first.

In 2014 Dutch bank ING launched a banking application that can be navigated using voice recognition.

Read more about voice controlled banking

The Inge application uses Nuance’s voice-recognition software, Nina, to allow customers to control actions on the app by using voice commands. By integrating Nuance’s software with the app, customers can talk to their app as they would a person. 

Last year CaixaBank enabled mobile banking customers to make transactions using a voice-controlled app. Through an Android app Customers can make balance enquiries, transfer money and locate nearby cash machines by speaking into their mobile device.

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