Sigga Sigurdardottir, Santander

Sigga Sigurdardottir, Santander

Santander says it has become the “first” bank in the UK to launch voice banking technology. The solution is provided by Nuance Communications.

However, last month HSBC announced it was launching voice recognition and touch security services in the UK, which will be available to 15 million banking customers. This project is also being carried out with Nuance.

Customers of First Direct, a division of HSBC, will be offered the biometric recognition system first, followed by HSBC’s in the summer.

HSBC is not the first to do this as Barclays has already introduced voice recognition software to its corporate clients.

Santander’s technology will be rolled out in two phases.

Phase one will enable customers to talk to their Santander SmartBank app and ask about their card spending.

The first is described as an introductory phase aimed at “helping customers get to grips with the basic features”.

The second, due for release later this year, will enable customers to “fully service” their accounts. This includes advanced features such as the ability to make payments, report lost cards, set up account alerts and answer a broad range of questions about spend.

Sigga Sigurdardottir, head of customer and innovation at Santander, says: “We are excited to be the first UK high street bank to bring voice-assistant technology into the customer user experience.”

Santander adds: “Voice is the most natural way we interact, and with a growing number of customers using mobile banking, Santander has merged the two experiences.”