Voice to verify online payments

Consumers could soon use their voice to sign off on internet and mobile transactions, as a UK firm launches a voice-verification payment processing system.

No software or hardware is needed to use the Voice Pay system, according to chief executive officer Nick Ogden.

"No special software or hardware is required - just access to a phone," he said in a statement. "Consumers complete a short, one-time only enrolment process during which a few spoken words are used to generate a unique biometric voiceprint. Subsequently whenever a purchase is made, the user voice verifies the transaction over the phone or internet."

Voice Pay could reduce fraud and improve customer confidence in online and mobile payments by using a client's voice to digitally sign for payments. Similar biometric authentication technology is already in use in banks, insurers and public sector organisations.

The system isn't limited to the internet, said Ogden. Voice Pay could also be used to instantly buy via a mobile phone a product seen on a TV or print advertisement, or even to pay for goods in a shop, he said.

Users can either set up a pre-pay account or they can link a Visa or MasterCard to pay by credit card.