Amsterdam, 10 September 2014 – ING is the first bank in Europe to introduce a voice control mode in its Mobile Banking App. Named Inge, the voice control mode enables hands-free banking as an alternative to a touch screen. Users give Inge orders by speech messages, and these are then executed. By adding the voice control mode to its Mobile Banking App, ING is responding to the future trend of increasingly speech-operated devices. The voice control mode in ING’s Mobile Banking App will be available from mid-September.
The smartphone is many Dutch people’s starting point for handling banking affairs. Since the introduction of mobile banking almost three years ago, the number of users has increased rapidly. Presently, 1.9 million customers use ING’s Mobile Banking App. The frequency of the app’s use has also increased. On average, customers log on six times a week. For ING it is important to help consumers gain a better insight into and a better overview of their finances. More than 75% of the Dutch who use a mobile phone app say they are now more in control of their financial affairs. ING has therefore decided to continue to develop the app, with innovation playing an important part.
Reading out the IBAN number
Max Mouwen, general manager of Internet and Mobile ING Netherlands: “In the next few years smartphones will become even more important for consumers. Our response to this development will be through innovations, in close cooperation with our customers. Inge is a new way of making mobile banking easy for our customers. The app makes it possible, for instance, to read out the IBAN number instead of typing it, which makes handling your banking affairs easier. It also makes mobile banking more personal. Customers use the app while talking to Inge, adding a human aspect to this functional innovation in mobile banking.”
Step-by-step introduction: voice control and voice recognition
ING will introduce hands-free banking in two steps. The first step from mid-September will let ING customers start using Inge. Using their voice, customers can check their bank balances or give payment orders. To log on and authorize payments you will still need your PIN code. The second step will be authorisation and logging on through voice recognition. This is expected to be introduced later this year. ING thinks it is important to introduce Inge gradually and to learn from customer experience. ING is therefore inviting a select group of customers, the test group, to start using voice recognition prior to its kick-off. Customer feedback will be used to further improve this new mode before voice recognition is introduced to all customers.
Making your daily banking affairs easier
Every voice has its own specific qualities, making it suitable as a unique and secure password. It is up to the customer to decide whether he or she wants to make use of the voice control mode. Customers can enable or disable voice control through the set-up menu in the mobile banking app. In the end it is the customer who decides whether he or she values its use.