TalkTalk ditches passwords for voice recognition technology after hack

Customer service

allowing its customers to access their accounts using voice recognition, several months after a major cyber-attack compromised the personal details of hundreds of thousands of customers.

Instead of being asked for personal details such as their password or mother’s maiden name, people who ring up the company’s customer support hotline will be able to confirm their identity using biometric technology that recognises the characteristics of their voice.

When subscribers next ring TalkTalk’s customer service line, they will be asked to repeat a phrase three times, which is then used to build a blueprint of the customer’s voice.

TalkTalk said voice recognition technology is one of the most secure ways to verify people’s identity, recognising more than 100 different aspects of a person’s voice including the shape of their larynx and nasal passage. The company also said it would speed up its often-criticised customer service operations, which are consistently rated worse than its peers.

t comes five months after the personal details of 157,000 customers were breached in a cyber attack that saw bank account and credit card details stolen. TalkTalk has lost more than 100,000 subscribers since the incident and estimates it will cost the company £60 million.

UK banks have already begun introducing voice recognition technology but TalkTalk says it is the first outside the banking sector to do so. “The launch forms part of TalkTalk’s continual focus on improving customers’ experience and its long term strategy to ensure customer data is as secure as possible,” the company said.