Voice biometrics and the year of the innovative retail service offering

As consumer spending and retail confidence continues to increase from previous years, retailers need to step up and innovate to give consumers the experience they’re increasingly demanding. As consumers use technology in all aspects of their lives more, brands and especially retailers, need to jump on this trend and incorporate it into the shopping experience to provide the ‘connected store’ offering. Most importantly, they need to deliver an experience that is seamless and secure.
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Today’s digitally savvy retail customer calls for convenient, quick and secure omni-channel service.

Technology is a major part of consumers’ everyday lives across the globe. In Australia, smartphone penetration is at 81 percent – making it one of the most connected countries in the world. The increased use of smartphones and other technologies is driving consumers to demand seamless experiences across all touch points. In particular, we are embracing these new technologies and innovations in the retail sector; including mobile shopping, social networking and the uptake of self-service checkouts. As mobile technology continues to become more ubiquitous, businesses have tremendous opportunity to leverage new innovations to heighten the consumer experience, boost brand reputation and increase competition.

However, as a byproduct, this will generate more data about customers and their behaviors. And, with more data comes the need for an increased focus on security. The good news is that technology can also deliver a more seamless and convenient security experience.

In a recent Australian PowerRetail article, Michael Steinmann, APAC Director at Nuance, talks about the value of voice biometrics as a more secure, effortless way to authenticate consumers. He writes, “we’ve seen the industry-wide move to phase-out signatures and expand the PIN at the point of sale (POS) terminals, initiated from banks and card companies in an attempt to increase security and crack down on fraud. However, extensive research shows knowledge-based security is easily compromised. The four-digit PIN is one of the weakest credentials, as it’s often shared and a brute force attack can quickly compromise it without any knowledge of the legitimate account holder.

Instead, voice biometrics authenticates consumers through natural voice patterns, not robotic PINs, or passwords. Consumers will no longer need to answer intrusive security questions or remember 20+ passwords in order to verify their identity. Or have the embarrassment of forgetting their password and being denied access to services. Even the current trend of putting all your passwords in a single app, secured by a single password is one intrusion away in completely comprising a person’s whole financial portfolio. Biometrics, and the ease of voice, makes ID theft infinitely more difficult while engaging the consumer in a mobile-centric world.”

Check out Michael’s full article and explore an innovative approach to secure customer experiences.

2015: The Year of The Innovative Service Offering

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Ken Arakelian

About Ken Arakelian

Ken Arakelian is the director of product management for Nuance's On Demand business. With more than 15 years of experience, Ken has worked in the contact center industry as a consultant, account manager and product manager.