Authentication & fraud prevention

Voice biometrics goes mainstream in Australia and New Zealand

Australians and Kiwis have long been accustomed to voice assistants when calling government agencies and banks—and that level of comfort has led to a significant rise in adoption for voice biometrics. This technology has proven itself as a powerful tool in securing customer transactions and preventing fraud. And, this month Nuance has surpassed 10 million voice authentications in Australia and New Zealand, illustrating clearly how this technology has gone mainstream.

Malicious actors have always targeted call centers, financial institutions, and customer services in a bid to steal precious information or money. Scamming has become an organized industry, where whole businesses employing hundreds of people are fully focused on deceiving not only consumers, but also call centers and customer services, by pretending to be the customer. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated that risk, with scammers capitalizing on opportunities for deceiving consumers and agents.

Organizations need alternative strategies and solutions to address callers’ requests in ways that empower agents to focus on more strategic activities—while also securely authenticating customers to help prevent fraudulent activities. Voice authentication and biometric technology can achieve these goals for forward-thinking organizations. The technology helps to halt fraud across digital and voice channels, authenticating individuals by the way they talk, text and type and flagging potential bad actors in as little as half a second. Basic impersonations or attempts at recreating someone’s voice can’t fool customer services anymore.

In fact, these technologies have been helping protect account holders in Australia and New Zealand since 2000. Specifically, government agencies and financial institutions have been trailblazers in the adoption of voice biometrics in that region. While Australians and Kiwis are already used to voice assistants when calling government agencies such as the ATO and banks such ANZ Bank, its uptake is continuing to be more widespread, with it emerging as one of the best ways to secure citizens and help solve important issues. Today, Nuance Voice Biometrics have surpassed 10 million authentications; in a geographic area with 16 million adults, it’s clear that voice biometrics has truly gone mainstream, garnering confidence and adoption, year after year. Moreover, in the last twelve months alone, Nuance voice biometrics have prevented more than $2 billion worth of customers’ money from getting into the wrong hands.

Helping to prevent fraud is just part of why we are seeing significant rise in the use of Nuance’s solutions such as Gatekeeper globally, with, for example, recent deployments with Mercury and NAB. Streamlining and securing customer experiences – such as authentication with a passphrase or selfie, automating password resents, and quickly finding answers with the help of a virtual assistant – is also driving adoption.

To learn more about Nuance’s voice biometrics solutions, visit this page.

Brett Beranek

About Brett Beranek

Brett Beranek is responsible for overseeing the security and biometric line of business at Nuance, a Microsoft company. In this role for the past 12 years, Beranek has brought Nuance to a leadership position in the biometric authentication and biometric fraud prevention space. A thought leader in the field of biometrics, Beranek is a frequent contributor in industry events and the media on the topic of AI technology and it’s use by the fraud community, and how society can mitigate against these evolving threats. Prior to Nuance, he held various leadership positions in the biometrics and security industry. He has earned a Bachelor of Commerce, Information Systems Major, from McGill University as well as an Executive Marketing certificate from Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Management. Beranek is also a certified Master Fraud Prevention Black Belt professional.