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Coutts initiates voice recognition to guard against account fraud
09/11/2017 , John Evans, International Editor

Sharing industry-wide concern at the rising tide of financial fraud and cyber-crime, Coutts & Co is rolling out a sophisticated voice recognition system.

The technology should enable Coutts to identify clients as they speak to the bank as well as help identify fraudsters attempting to mimic them.

“Our technology will be introduced over the coming weeks,” Coutts said, in a note sent out to clients.

“We’ll simply enrol you using a few seconds of conversation when you call us,” Stuart Newey, head of banking, is telling clients.

Coutts already has biometrics working in the background so its digital technologies track how the user is interfacing when they are online, including how they type, how fast they type and how they use the mouse, to ensure the person at the other end is the “real client”.

The latest initiative comes under the Coutts technology investment programme, calling for spend of more than £20 million annually for the next four years.

The Financial Conduct Authority has just responded to complaints that, unlike credit card fraud, transfers made to criminals’ accounts have no technical liability on the banking hosts.

UK Finance has reported that “push payments” scams are now the second biggest type of payment fraud, after card fraud, in both number and total value involved. More than £100 million was lost to these types of fraud in the first half of the year, with only £25 million being recovered by banks and other firms on behalf of customers.

The FCA is considering a "reimbursement model" for online fraud which, if introduced would apply from September 2018. However, it has not called for the programme to be made compulsory.


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