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Citi expanding voice recognition to Asia

Citibank is all set to roll out voice recognition technology to its retail customers in Asia, according to Citi’s Asia Pacific consumer banking head Anand Selvakesari. He said the bank plans to have at least 1 million Asian users of the technology within the next 12 months, doing away with cumbersome passwords and speeding up transactions such as money transfers, bill payments and checks on account balances. Selvakesari said Citi will roll out the voice recognition technology in Singapore first, followed by Australia, Hong Kong, India and Taiwan over the next few months. According to the bank, these markets have the highest proportion of digital banking usage in the region, ranging from 40% to 60%. The bank said its voice recognition to its credit card customers launched in the US last year has seen 70% customers enrolling to it. The new technology will allow Asian customer service division, which receives about 35 million customer calls every year, to cut the average time it takes to validate a client’s identity over the phone to 15 seconds, from 45 seconds previously.

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