Leaving identity thieves speechless: How voice biometrics prevents fraud in call centers

Criminals love call center agents who put customer service at the forefront. Why? Because it’s easier for fraudsters to bypass a friendly agent using a combination of publicly available data and socially engineered data to get through the security questions agents use to verify a customer’s identity. While fraudsters may be able to find your mother’s maiden name or even spoof caller ID, the one thing they can’t do is steal your unique voice. Voice biometrics helps companies provide a way for customers to rest assured that villains won’t easily steal their identity.
Voice biometrics delivers easier, safer security authentication without passwords and PINs.

Delivering great customer service is the most important priority for every call center. Unfortunately, call center agents can become easy targets for fraudsters, impersonators and various “bad actors” that want to execute crimes by socially engineering call center agents. In fact, recent research from Infiniti Research shows that one out of every 2,500 calls into financial institution call centers is a fraudulent call.

Further, the research shows that account takeovers contribute up to 28 percent of the total identity fraud losses. The cost to the business for fraud and account takeovers is significant – costing $5.7 billion dollars for financial institutions in 2014. This number is only continuing to grow – Infiniti Research predicts account takeovers will account for $8.3 billion in fraud losses by 2018.

Why is this such a big number? Today, most call centers depend on knowledge-based factors such as passwords, security and life-history questions to authenticate users before allowing access to their accounts. However, these types of questions could compromise an account if the questions are too easy. For instance, perpetrators can easily find out a person’s nationality or birth date. But, on the other end of the spectrum, businesses that require customers to have complex passwords and intricate security questions, make authentication too cumbersome for customers.

Striking this balance between secure and easy was a hot topic of discussion at the recent Opus Research Voice Biometrics Conference (VBC) in New York. How do you seamlessly authenticate legitimate users while also preventing and detecting fraudsters from compromising account security?

Account takeover fraud is a global problem Voice biometrics provides a viable solution. The technology can seamlessly authenticate legitimate customers – while also helping to detect known and new fraudsters. Infiniti Research estimates that voice biometrics can address 90 percent of fraud in a voice channel, as well as address 80 percent of fraud in a mobile channel.

Voice biometrics has great impact on an optimum mix of robust security and exceptional customer experience. It provides an easier and more secure alternative to passwords, and has proven to be effective in a number of real-world applications. We have seen tremendous adoption in financial, insurance, healthcare and telecom industries, in fact, 20 percent of the top 50 global financial institutions are already using voice biometrics for authentication and fraud prevention today. With voice biometrics, businesses can leave impersonators, fraudsters and identity thieves speechless.


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Oksana Walton

About Oksana Walton

This was a contributed post by Oksana Walton. She earned an MBA from the University of California, Davis and Masters of Science Equivalent in Aerospace Engineering from Moscow Aviation Institute. Oksana is fluent in Russian and enjoys developing and honing her communication and leadership skills with Toastmasters International. To see more content like this, visit the Customer experience section of our blog.