Identity fraud is a very real threat facing businesses today. A breach can quickly result in devastating financial loss for your customers and your organization. A 2021 study by Javelin Strategy & Research has revealed that identity theft cost Americans around $56 billion last year, impacting as many as 49 million customers.
While there’s a clear need to step up fraud protection efforts, conventional approaches can create frustrating experiences for customers. When calling a contact center or bank, for example, people often have to answer strings of security questions to identify themselves and prove that they are who they claim to be.
This process can be exasperating. Not everyone, for example, can remember what the last transaction on their credit card was. It’s also not always secure. Malicious parties can easily find personal information on a customer’s social media feed, such as a pet’s name or where they went on honeymoon.
What if you could make identity authentication and fraud detection easier for your customers, employees and business as a whole?
Voice Biometrics uses advanced technology to verify identity, authenticate callers and protect against fraud over remote channels—so your organization can secure interactions quicker, with less effort and at a lower cost.
Analyzing the physical and behavioral characteristics of a human voice to verify claimed identities, this approach provides a robust layer of security for contact centers and other services. It also enables your business to rely less on complex passwords and knowledge-based questions, and more on tech-powered identification.
Putting Voice Biometrics to Good Use
Voice-based biometric authentication can be used to simplify and secure the customer and employee experience in a variety of scenarios, while reducing call queues, processing times and costs.
Some use cases include:
Accessing mobile banking and other financial services.
Authenticating transactions in an IVR or with a live agent for faster, safer customer service.
Proof of life for pension transactions, allowing pensioners to authenticate themselves remotely without having to visit the bank or stand in queues.
Voice biometrics is also a powerful fraud protection tool, as it can match fraudster voiceprints to identify bad actors.
How it Works
Just like your fingerprint, the sound of your voice is unique to you. Voice Biometrics uses advanced technology to create a voiceprint for customers. This comprises the physical and behavioral patterns of the voice, including speech rhythm, speed and the way the vocal cords, mouth and nasal passages work together. Once a voiceprint has been created, customers can authenticate in the IVR for self-service, or with a live agent if preferred.
Enterprises have the option to deploy voice biometrics actively or passively. Let’s dive deeper into these two deployment options.
Active Voice Biometrics
This type of system asks the customer a specific question and they have to provide a particular phrase as the answer. Only if they use the correct phrase, in their own voice, will they be authenticated.
Active Voice Biometrics easily proves that a person is who they say they are using self-service—whether that be within an IVR, a mobile application or an enterprise software system. This approach can be used as a fraud protection tool for both employees and customers across many sectors, from banking to government services.
Passive Voice Biometrics
Passive Voice Biometrics, as the name implies, means the voice biometric engine is passively listening to a conversation and understanding the voice characteristics of the speakers to recognize who the speakers are. This requires no specific passphrase. The engine can silently hear, interpret and determine the speaker’s identity—comparing the current voice to an originally enrolled voiceprint.
Passive Voice Biometrics is incredibly effective at authenticating customers over remote channels and even identifying fraudsters in real-time, by catching them in the act (calling into a contact center and trying to access a customer account, for example).
As voiceprints are compared in real-time, agents can take swift action, protecting customers from account takeovers and the enterprise itself from costly fraudulent transactions.
What If Criminals Synthesize Customers’ Voices?
As fraudsters evolve their techniques, there is some concern in the market that voice biometrics could become more vulnerable to a certain level of sophisticated fraud. This involves the use of synthetic voices (also known as ‘deep fakes’), which use human beings and machines to produce an artificial version of human speech.
While malicious actors may try to use synthetic voices to get around voice biometrics, it’s important to understand that synthetic speech leaves evidence – a trail that makes it easier to detect. Also, even the best deep fake sounds uncanny and not quite human. With passive authentication, the live agent will be able to distinguish synthetic speech from real human speech.
That being said, for complete peace of mind, it’s advisable to use voice biometrics as one layer of security alongside other authentication methods, so that customers are well protected.
How LumenVox Can Help
The LumenVox Voice Biometric Engine safely authenticates customers within the IVR or when talking with a live agent, in multiple languages.
LumenVox has also created a voice-based fraud detection tool—leveraging AI-driven voice biometrics—to combat contact center fraud and defend vulnerable voice channels from criminal activity with a tool that analyzes voiceprints and matches them to known fraudsters. Rather than the 7 months it takes on average to discover fraudulent transactions, LumenVox can cut that down to a matter of hours. A caller whose voice matches a fraudster voiceprint receives further investigation, so fraud analysts can act quickly to minimize loss.
For companies seeking to manage identity authentication and fraud detection in the most secure, cost-efficient and convenient way possible, LumenVox Voice Biometrics is well worth exploring.
Customer experience is often highest on the priority list for businesses. But in a post-pandemic world, organizations are looking for ways to improve the agent experience as well. By raising the importance of agent concerns to the same priority level as customer concerns, organizations can dramatically improve employee satisfaction levels, optimize the efficiency of individuals, and demonstrate best care practices. These steps can also improve agent recruitment and retention. The benefits also translate into a positive customer experience. Happy agents equal happy customers.
Here are three ways to enhance and improve the agent experience with voice technology.
Challenge 1:Authentication. A renowned technology research firm, Opus Research, has “long seen zero-effort authentication as a necessity for creating trusted links between brands and their customers.”
Solution: Voice biometrics provides a convenient and secure form of authentication for customers and an effortless task for agents. There are two types of voice biometrics, Active and Passive.
Active Voice Biometrics means that the customer enrolls by repeating a set phrase. On subsequent calls, the customer speaks their passphrase, which is compared to their stored enrollment voiceprint.
Passive Voice Biometrics means the customer is seamlessly enrolled by capturing historical or real-time audio. Enrollment is completed by recording the customer’s unique voiceprint during an initial conversation, not a specific phrase. On subsequent calls, customer’s conversational voice is compared to their stored voiceprint. A customer speaks with an agent and is transparently verified within the agent desktop.
It’s secure and effortless, turning a common pain point for agents into a seamless experience.
Challenge 2:Fraud. Right now, attackers are shifting from spoofing to using virtual call services since they are anonymous and untraceable. These fraudulent calls are legitimate calls that can be placed from many devices from anywhere in the world. This allows fraudsters to bypass spoofing detection technology with numbers unrelated to a record. Fraudsters then use social engineering on agents to grant them control over a customer’s record.
Solution: With Passive Voice Biometrics, agents themselves can help identify fraudulent activity in real-time. If a customer’s voiceprint does not match the one on file, the agent will be alerted of the voiceprint mismatch. The agent can then pass the warning signs to the fraud department to initiate investigation—while the call is still in progress. By giving these agents greater peace of mind, and the fraud department greater resources, everyone is protected and more productive.
Challenge 3: Containment. With greater reliance upon the contact center to solve customer issues, the workload of agents rises daily. Without intelligent proactive outbound communication and robust Automatic Speech Recognition and Text-to-Speech technology, customers route to agents for menial tasks to mine information that could be accessible ahead of the need/ask.
Solution: LumenVox’ Automatic Speech Recognition and Text-to-Speech enable automated yet dynamic and personalized interactions with customers within the IVR. This improves containment and reduces Agent Handle Time, as customers gain immediate access to relevant information, often removing the need for a live agent. With the use of Call Progress Analysis, agents’ time can be spent solely on live interactions with customers. Call Progress Analysis is a novel predictive dialer technology which uses Voice Activity Detection (VAD) to quickly and accurately classify whether calls were answered by a human or a machine. With this technology as well as statistical analysis, adjustments and feedback, agents can achieve optimal performance.
Voice technology can be leveraged in a variety of ways to shave valuable minutes from each agent’s workload. This translates into benefits for the business, for the agents themselves and for customers.
LumenVox Luminaries is a podcast that broadcasts thought leadership pieces on the subject of voice technology. This episode features Dr. Clive Summerfield, LumenVox Managing Director of EMEA-ANZ, discussing a case for active voice biometrics with his perspective on the specific benefits of Active Voice Biometrics.
I’m Clive Summerfield, Managing Director for LumenVox EMEA [Europe, Middle East, Africa] Australia and New Zealand, and I’m here to talk about Active Voice Biometrics. Many of you may have actually heard about Voice Biometrics, and I’m here to talk about the particular benefits of Active Voice Biometrics as opposed to Passive Voice Biometrics.
Q: What is Voice Biometrics?
Voice biometrics is a technology that allows a system to authenticate the identity of a person from an analysis of their voice. Like your fingerprint, your voice is unique. And so, like your fingerprint voice can be used as a very powerful technology for authenticating the identity of the speaker: you actually are who you say you are. And that’s a literal statement; the voice and the sound wave that emanates from your lips and your nostrils contains within it an acoustic signature that is unique to that individual speaker. And that in a nutshell is what Voice Biometrics is all about.
Q: What’s the difference between Active and Passive Voice Biometrics?
Voice biometrics comes in two flavors, essentially. There’s Active and Passive Voice Biometrics. Active is where a system asks you a specific question, and you have to answer that question with the correct voice. The obvious one here is a phrase like “My voice is my password,” but it can be anything—it can be your name; it can be your date of birth; it can be your address, your zip code or here in the UK your post code. It could be an account number or your telephone number. So this is where Active Voice Biometrics is Actively verifying your identity from a phrase that you’re actually saying. In Active Voice Biometrics you have to say the correct phrase with the correct voice. Now Passive on the other hand is a technology that sits in the background and listens to a conversation. Passive Voice Biometrics is, as the name implies, passively listening to a conversation and just understanding the voice characteristics of the speakers to recognize who the speakers are.
Q: Where is Active Voice Biometrics most appropriate?
The ideal application for Active Voice Biometrics is in telephone self-service and particularly for authenticating identity of speakers using IVR systems, particularly self-service applications—such as banking applications, government applications, applications for retail and telecommunications services. So in those applications the IVR prompts you for a piece of information. “Please say your telephone number.” And you have to say the correct telephone number with the correct voice in order to positively authenticate your identity, giving you a very strong level of surety that the speaker is the account holder and not an imposter trying to break into your accounts.
I feel like the big application for Active Voice Biometrics has been in telephone-based password reset. And there are numerous examples of Active Voice Biometrics being used for telephone password reset applications, and those are principally in help desks and internal-facing employee helpdesk applications and services. But Active Voice Biometrics is far more than just a password reset application; it is also a password replacement technology where voice can be used instead of passwords for many applications. These include IVR telephone self- service chat bots and increasingly online services and IOT devices.
Q: What about the future of Active?
Well, there is good news in that voice interactions are growing in the world, I mean, despite the demise of telephone call centers, the growth in voice communications is growing exponentially at the moment. According to Gartner, 30% of all searches are now voice-driven which tells you where voice communications is going in the future. So the digital channel is where all the action is actually going to be in the near term.
And whilst Active still has a very important role to play in telephone services, the future of Active is actually in the digital channel. Now digital channels are almost by definition driven by phrases and single phrases, which is where Active has very strong application over and above Passive. So Active is the only technology in the digital channel that is applicable for things like second-factor authentication. I like to think that Voice Biometrics and Active Voice Biometrics is actually the world’s best second-factor authentication which can be used to augment things like PINs and passwords that are traditionally stored up now in browsers. Active Voice Biometrics can be very effectively applied in digital channels and particularly in second factor authentication for browsers channels.
One of the big applications for Active Voice Biometrics is capturing voice through the browser as somebody is accessing a secure website such as Internet banking and other services of that nature, to positively authenticate that the person who is actually the account holder. This provides a much stronger security credential than PINs or passwords on their own. And Active is unique in so far that it’s the only technology that can harmonize the authentication between the emerging digital channels and the legacy telephone channels. You can use the same phrase in a digital channel as you can in a telephone channel. There’s no other biometric technology that provides this type of flexibility which means that organizations can harmonize their authentication strategies across all their customer service channels thereby providing a much more effective customer service experience.
LumenVox Active Voice Authentication combines with Genesys Customer Experience Platform to provide highly flexible and scalable authentication solutions to call centers
LumenVox has announced Active Voice Authentication is now available on the Genesys AppFoundry®, the industry’s largest dedicated marketplace focused on customer experience solutions. The AppFoundry allows Genesys customers from all market segments to discover and rapidly deploy a broad range of solutions that make it easier to interact with consumers, engage employees and optimize their workforce. Genesys® is the global leader in omnichannel customer experience and contact center solutions that delivers more than 70 billion remarkable customer experiences for organizations in over 100 countries.
The Active Voice Authentication easily integrates with Genesys Cloud™, to further protect the contact center and provide increased security to each interaction. With the ability to deliver advanced workflows and business rules, it can create a multitude of specialized text-dependent and text-prompted solutions. Plus, the platform is compatible with any Interactive Voice Response (IVR), web, or mobile application.
“Contact centers are increasingly vulnerable to the prevalence of social media data and the subsequent fraudulent attacks that result in account takeover. Our Active Voice Authentication system is a direct answer to the urgent need to protect and defend their customers. Our addition to the Genesys Cloud portfolio as an AppFoundry Premium Application means LumenVox can now offer Genesys customers a robust integrative authentication technology to accomplish just this,” said Edward Miller, CEO of LumenVox.
Using both highly flexible and scalable active voice biometric authentication solutions, contact centers that have incorporated LumenVox’ Active Voice Authentication report significantly reduced fraudulent activity, a dramatically improved customer experience and a lower agent handling time.
The LumenVox Active Voice Authentication is now available with Genesys Cloud, an all-in-one solution and the world’s leading public cloud contact center platform, that helps organizations provide better experiences to their customers and employees. With its robust feature set and open APIs, Genesys Cloud is flexible, scalable and built for rapid innovation.
LumenVox has also recently enhanced its partnership with Genesys by becoming an AppFoundry Managed Partner, selected as one of just 20 other elite members in the Genesys program.
About LumenVox: LumenVox transforms customer communication. Our flexible and cost-effective technology enables you to create effortless, secure self-service and customer-agent interactions. We provide a complete suite of speech and multifactor authentication technology to make customer relations faster, stronger and safer than ever before. Our expertise is extensive—we support a multitude of applications for voice and facial biometrics, inclusive of passive and active authentication for fraud detection. And we do it all by putting you and your customers first.
Last month LumenVox had the honor of being selected as one of only 8 Genesys Appfoundry partners to compete in the Genesys Appfoundry Partner Demo Battle in Amsterdam at G-Summit Europe. While we may not have walked away with the title of “AppFoundry App of the Year,” with over 25 AppFoundry partners in attendance and many more that had applied to participate in the battle, LumenVox was extremely proud to snag a close third for our presentation on active voice biometric authentication for Genesys PureCloud!
For those who couldn’t attend the event and see us participate in the Genesys Appfoundry Partner Demo Battle, you can read the highlights below:
During our 7-minute chance to shine, the LumenVox team was able to briefly share:
A demonstration of LumenVox Active Authentication in the Genesys PureCloud environment
Key features about the technology behind LumenVox Active Voice Authentication for Genesys PureCloud, including:
Signal processing and speech modeling algorithms that are state-of-the-art
Customizable text-dependent phrases (e.g. “My voice is my password at ABC Bank”) that are text-prompted for liveness detection
The capability to run on servers with mobile client for flexible deployment
Flexible integration – web services including support for both SOAP and REST
Out-of-the-box tuned language packs for major languages
Multiple channel integration, allowing for very board application scenarios
1:1 Authentication and 1:N identification
Use cases that are ideally suited for active voice biometric authentication:
Password Reset – A common IT helpdesk task that is easily automated, yielding high ROI
IVR Self-Service – Modernize your IVR Applications using voice biometrics to reduce friction and secure validation
Agent Caller Interactions – Increase both customer and agent satisfaction by authenticating callers using their voice
And, a bit about who we are – LumenVox is a global speech automation and authentication company that holds over 85 key industry patents with quick startup/immediate impact solutions designed to:
Increase employee efficiency
Improve customer experiences
Provide highly accurate and convenient voice biometric authentication to keep fraudsters out
If you have any questions about LumenVox Active Authentication for Genesys PureCloud and how your organization can benefit from reduced fraud and enhanced customer experience, we invite you to email us at GenesysSales@LumenVox. You may also watch our latest webinar here, read our latest guest post on the Genesys blog here, or visit the LumenVox listing in the Appfoundry Marketplace.