U.S. Bank (USB) employees are piloting software that will, if all goes well, be used to let customers access their credit card accounts on a mobile device by speaking a few words into their phone.

Voice biometrics technology captures the unique rhythms of a person's speech and uses pattern matching to identify that person's voice against a storehouse of authenticated voice snippets. It can be used to authenticate users of an app such as a mobile banking program by having them speak a token phrase, which acts as a password.

Nuance Communications makes several speech and voice recognition software programs. The voice biometrics application U.S. Bank is testing addresses consumers' growing dissatisfaction with PINs, passwords, and security questions, and the falling effectiveness of such programs at protecting accounts.

"By eliminating the interrogation process that consumers are typically put through and replacing it with a natural, conversational voice interaction, companies can really start to reinvent their customer service experience," says Robert Weideman, executive vice president and general manager of the Nuance enterprise division, in a press release.

Minneapolis, Minn.-based U.S. Bank, with $364 billion in assets at yearend 2013, is the fifth largest commercial bank in the nation.