Canada’s largest online-only bank employs biometric security

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Tangerine is bringing fingerprint recognition and voice banking to its mobile banking app, as a growing number of Canadians reach for their smartphone for banking transactions.

Working with software provider Nuance Communications, Tangerine is the first bank in Canada to offer a voice-controlled mobile app, as well as the first to employ fingerprint identification. Customers will have the option of using the Touch ID feature, which uses fingerprint recognition technology, along with a password, when logging into the mobile banking app

With Voice Banking users can interact with Tangerine’s Mobile Banking app through a Siri-like that answers questions and provides information. Queries can be as simple as inquiring about account balances, to more complex questions and commands like how much was spent at a specific location, or instructions to transfer money by email or pay a bill.

Later this year Tangerine also plans to introduce Voice Authentication, a way for clients to use their voice as a password when logging into the Mobile Banking app. This technology, also from Nuance, will require users to repeat a specific phrase to access their account information as well as providing a password.

“We have a long history of delivering simple and innovative solutions for our clients and we’re proud to be the first Canadian bank to introduce biometric technology,” says Peter Aceto, president and CEO of Tangerine. “We recognize that Canadians want more control over their banking experience, and our goal is to provide them with the ability to bank where they want, how they want and when they want.”

Tangerine was the first Canadian bank to allow customers to remotely make deposits by taking a picture of a cheque with their smartphone, and has had a reputation for being an early adopter of technology. The bank actually started experimenting with biometrics a decade ago, but abandoned its efforts because it was too far ahead of the market.

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