You Talking to Me? How Voice Is Revolutionizing Mobile Banking

NEW YORK (MainStreet)—Want to race?

Pull up your mobile banking app, enter bill pay data, click pay.

I'll use my voice to log in - no keying in the password - and simply tell the app whom to pay, how much.

Who will be faster? Who will get the job done with less irritation? And with none of the miskeyed entries that turn so much mobile banking into an exercise in angst.

Also see: Google Wallet, RIP?

Listen up: a revolution is starting and it is one where voice - the very thing mobile phones were originally designed around - becomes the primary data input tool and in the bargain it also may emerge as the way to swiftly but securely log in without any typing at all.

"It is a natural interaction on a phone, and it requires no specialized hardware. It's a natural fit with mobile," said Julia Webb, an executive with biometrics company VoiceVault.

Also see: Fear and Loathing with the Digital Wallet

Does it work? Robert Weideman, executive vice president at Nuance, a company focused on voice recognition, claimed accuracy is "over 90% today."

Where NINA - Nuance's Siri like voice recognition agent -- misfires, "it's typically because of a noisy environment," such as calling in from a bustling coffee shop or at an airport gate.

"Speech rec from a mobile phone now is amazingly high," said Weideman, and that's partly because cellphone networks are vastly more powerful than they were even a few years ago and the phones, too, have gotten much better, particularly when it comes to filtering out extraneous ambient noises (such as wind).

That sets the stage for what is shaping up as a two-pronged invasion of voice into mobile banking where the first is using voice in lieu of a password in logging in. "Enrollment takes 30 seconds," said Weideman, who added that Nuance already has "23 million enrolled voice prints."

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