2017: The year of biometrics

As frequent news reports continue to show, the issue of fraud is becoming increasingly prevalent in financial institutions. Fraudulent activity is worrisome in any industry, but the problem is particularly important in financial services as customers’ identities – and livelihoods – are at stake. At the same time, organizations are paying increased attention to improving and simplifying the customer experience. Steven will outline why both banks and consumers need a more secure, customer-friendly authentication solution, which is why 2017 will be the year of biometrics.
With fraud on the rise, companies are turning to voice biometrics to securely authenticate customers.

2017 is off to a great start for the biometric industry. Amidst new concerns about fraud across industries and a growing commitment to improving the customer experience, many companies are moving away from PINs and passwords in order to embrace more secure, customer-friendly alternatives for authentication. In the past couple of months, our own Brett Beranek has been interviewed many times to give an expert opinion on how biometrics makes logging into your bank, health care provider and even telecommunications provider simple and secure.

First up is a recent CNN Money video: News on Biometrics

Some great takeaways:

  • 1 in 5,000 calls to a U.S. bank are fraudsters looking to access sensitive information like PINs and passwords. Nearly 20 percent of these fraudulent calls are successful in obtaining the information they seek, demonstrating traditional methods of security are no longer enough to keep up with the pace of hacking technology.
  • What if an imposter tries to use a recorded voice? Voice biometrics can distinguish between a recording and a live voice and is accurate 99+ percent of the time.

Next up is a brand new, and very exciting, release by Transamerica. As you may know, Transamerica specializes in insurance, investments and retirement – serving millions of customers throughout the United States. Transamerica just announced a solution, called Voice Pass, that combines the natural language understanding in their IVR with voice biometrics, enabling customers to easily access all their information without having to memorize PINs or passwords. Once a customer is enrolled in the optional service, he or she simply speaks the passphrase, “At Transamerica, my voice is my password,” to securely access their accounts.

Some great takeaways:

  • This is the first company in the U.S. to launch an interactive voice response experience that combines innovative voice biometrics technology and natural language.
  • No more pressing 1 for Insurance and 2 for Annuities, etc. Just speak and the system will take you right where you want to go.
  • VoicePass will increase security, while giving quicker access to your information.
  • It’s easy to use and easy to enroll.

Virginia Credit Union also recently rolled out voice biometrics to more than 200,000 members. The program, coined “VACU Voice ID,” enables customers to use voiceprints to access their account by simply speaking to a representative. In the background, their voiceprint is authenticated while never interrupting the call.

“Your thumbprint is a unique way to unlock your phone; your voice is a unique way to verify who’s on the phone,” said Tim Kelly, executive vice president of member services for the credit union.

One last thing – we’ve posted a series of new videos highlighting customers interacting with voice biometrics. You can get a feel of our products, VocalPassword (active authentication) and FreeSpeech (passive authentication), and explore facial recognition and behavioral biometrics. Let us know what you think!

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Steven Bridgeland

About Steven Bridgeland

Steven Bridgeland joined Nuance in 2016 as senior solutions marketing manager for all things Voice Biometrics. Before joining Nuance, Steven worked in various product management and marketing positions at Microsoft, Sesame Communications and others. Steven Has an MBA from Yale School of Management and is a loyal Spartan from Michigan State University.