Singapore will be the first market to give the new service a try
Global financial services corporation Citigroup announced that it will introduce voice recognition technology to retail customers in Asian market, claiming to be the first major bank in the continent to do so, according to a report by Bloomberg.
Though no exact release date is mentioned, Citigroup Asia Pacific Head of Consumer Banking Anand Selvakesari stated that the new technology will be released first in Singapore, followed by Australia, Hong Kong, India and Taiwan “over the next few months.”
“One of the frustrating points for the client is remembering the password and being asked questions multiple times over,” said Selvakesari, adding that the technology will speed up transactions such as money transfers, bill payments and checks on account balances.
He explained that the new technology will allow customer service division to cut the average time it takes to validate a client’s identity over the phone to 15 seconds, from the previous duration of 45 seconds.
The company targets at least one million Asian users of the technology within the next 12 months.
In April, Citigroup reduced the number of branches in Asia by nine per cent since the first quarter of 2015.
Selvakesari said that the growth of Internet and mobile banking means about 95 per cent of Citigroup’s retail banking transactions in the region take place outside the branch network.
Citigroup first introduced the voice recognition technology to its credit card customers in the US last year, with some 70 per cent of customers claimed to have enrolled.
Apart from Citigroup, HSBC and Standard Chartered are also looking into implementing the technology in Asia.
HSBC plans to introduce the technology in Hong Kong at the second half of 2016, following its launch in the UK in the summer.
Image Credit: Jason Rosewell on Unsplash
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