Citi launches voice biometrics security

Citi – the country’s largest foreign bank launches Voice Biometrics in the Philippines, the first bank to roll out this groundbreaking authentication across Asia.

Starting October, clients of Citi Philippines will no longer need to remember passwords, or personal identification numbers, or answer a series of questions to verify their identities.  The country’s largest foreign bank is the first bank in Asia to introduce Voice Biometrics, which simply means your voice is now your password.

voice biometrics

Voice biometrics – now a reality in Philippine banking

Enjoy better security with CITI’s Voice Biometrics. #ihaveavoicewithciti #yourvoiceisyourpassword

A photo posted by Penny Tan (@slvrdlphn) on

Citi Philippines CEO Aftad Ahmed and Consumer Banking Head Bea Tan announced to the media the introduction of this groundbreaking technology being introduced to the Philippines.

With this launch, Citi’s more than 1 million clients in the country can now enroll in Voice Biometrics and let their voices be the means for authentication of their phone banking transactions.

In the press briefing attended by representatives of traditional media and bloggers Citi’s voice biometrics system was explained and demonstrated in several ways to showcase the level of security voice biometrics can give Citi clients.

First we set up the voice authentication system for one of the audience volunteers.  It was a painless experience which lasted only a few minutes.

Next we tried to have one of the female audience members pretend to be someone else and midway through the call the real Citi customer took the phone and continued the call.  Here voice authentication was not enough.  Given the circumstances the client will either have to do one of two things … hang up and call again or answer a series of 3 to 5 verification questions.

Lastly, we had an existing Citi customer who had already enrolled in voice authentication call the Citi call center.

Aftad Ahmed

Aftad Ahmed, Citi Philippines CEO

“We are proud of our strong track record in innovation, and we are delighted to once again take the lead in introducing a game changer in the banking industry,” said Ahmed.

“We are relentlessly focused on making it more convenient for our customers to bank with us.  Voice Biometrics will deliver convenience and additional protection for their accounts.”

The voice biometrics authentication capability identifies customers through their voice print, which, similar to a fingerprint, is unique to each person. Citi clients can opt to enroll by recording their voices, which the bank will use to generate and store their voice prints for matching subsequent calls to Citibank. Each voice print will be uniquely tagged and cannot be reverse engineered once stored.

Once available, customers who call into the bank’s contact centers will have their identity automatically verified within 15 seconds or less as they explain their reason for calling. This is a reduction from an average time of around 45 seconds currently or 66% less time spent verifying their details currently.

Bea Tan Citibank Philippines

Bea Tan, Citi Philippines Consumer Banking Head

“Voice biometrics is a great example of how we at Citi listen to our clients and leverage technology to address their concerns,” explained Tan.

“With our client’s agreement, we can digitize their voice print and with a successful registration, the next time they call, we will do away with the three to five questions to verify their identity, which can take between 45 and 60 seconds.”

To date, voice biometrics authentication has been implemented in the following countries in Asia:

  1. Australia
  2. Hong Kong
  3. Malaysia
  4. Singapore
  5. Taiwan

It will be rolled out throughout the region in 2016 and 2017 to cover all 12 of Citi’s consumer banking markets in Asia Pacific that represent more than half of the bank’s 19 consumer markets globally.

Citi agentCiti targets to be the first financial services firm to deploy voice biometrics  authentication across Asia Pacific as the bank builds further on its successful innovation in retail banking in the region.

Citi has around 15 million Consumer Banking customers in the region and the bank expects to have at least 1,000,000 customers actively using voice biometrics authentication in the next 12 months. Within three years the bank expects the number of users to grow to 3,000,000.

Asia is an important region for innovation at Citi. Six years ago, the bank launched its new branch design – called Smart Banking – in Asia for the first time. The Smart Banking concept involves using technology, architecture and design and new retail channels to connect customers to their money and provide them with a better way of banking. Over 200 such branches have since been rolled out globally since the Asian launch.

About Citi

Citi logoCiti, the leading global bank, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions.

Citi provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services, and wealth management.

For more information about Citi visit their website at or any of their social media accounts:

With Citi your voice is your password.