NatWest will be piloting new technology that will enable its customers to bank from home using just their voice, the bank has revealed.
Over a three-month period, 500 NatWest customers will be trialling this new voice technology that will enable them to ask for commonly requested details such as their current balance and recent transactions and they will receive a verbal response. When an answer cannot be given or customers need to speak to someone, a message will be sent to their phone with helpline details.
To help protect customers’ banking details, they will be required to set up their voice banking with their existing online banking password and PIN. When accessing it, customers will then be asked to provide a partial voice PIN to confirm their identity.
This new technology will be of particular benefit to blind customers as it will make it easier to complete simple banking services without the use of a screen or keyboard. Along with this new technology, many high street banks have put services in place to help customers who are blind or visual impaired. For example, earlier this year Lloyds Bank, Halifax and Bank of Scotland launched a pioneering trial with Be My Eyes. This trial offered an app that allowed customers to be connected securely with the bank to provide visual assistance for everyday banking tasks.
Kristen Bennie, head of open experience at NatWest, said: “We are exploring voice banking for the first time and think it could mark the beginning of a major change to how customers manage their finances in the same way mobile banking made a huge impact. This technology will make it easier for people to bank with us and could bring particular benefits to those who have a disability, as voice banking eliminates the need for customers to use a screen or keyboard. This is one of a number of services that the bank is aiming to develop this year that uses cutting edge, innovative technology to better serve our customers.”
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