CaixaBank introduces voice-controlled mobile banking

CaixaBank is enabling mobile banking customers to make transactions using their voice via an app

CaixaBank is enabling mobile banking customers to make transactions using a voice-controlled app.

Customers will be able to make balance enquiries, transfer money and locate nearby cash machines by speaking into their mobile device.

The Android app, which will be available on the bank’s mobile banking app Línea Abierta, will support voice and touch-screen control. The Spanish bank plans to add other biometric features in the future, including fingerprint identification.

Recent research from Visa found the new generation of banking customers would rather use biometric security devices than PINs and passwords for authentication, according to Visa Europe.

The payments firm found that 75% of 16 to 24-year-olds – or generation Z– would have no problem using biometric security, with 69% expecting it to be faster and easier than a password or PIN.

“For banks and product providers, this means two challenges: first, to continue and quicken the pace of development on biometrics to answer this demand from Generation Z; and second, to continue to evaluate the increasing range of authentication options to ensure customer convenience and security as payment increasingly becomes embedded into a range of applications,” said Jonathan Vaux, executive director at Visa Europe.

Read more about mobile banking apps

CaixaBank serves more than four million mobile service customers, 3.4 million of whom use the Línea Abierta application. Overall, the bank processes 120 million mobile transactions on a monthly basis, of which 33% involve fund transfers. The bank also has 70 applications available, which have been downloaded more than 10 million times.

In September 2014, Dutch banking group ING Netherlands launched a banking application that can be navigated using voice recognition. The firm hopes future generations of the app will use biometric voice recognition for user authentication to replace PINs. “We want to deliver an easy experience for our customers who are accessing their accounts via our mobile app,” said the bank at the time.

CaixaBank has invested in a raft of apps designed to make banking more convenient for customers. For example, late last year the bank released contactless wristbands following a pilot of the wearable technology. It also launched an app that enables customers to view their accounts and make transactions via Facebook.

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