LumenVox, a global leader in speech and authentication solutions, was named a top vendor of Biometrics, Speech Recognition and Text-to-Speech in Speech Technology Magazine’s 2nd Annual People’s Choice Awards. Being recognized as users’ top three favorite vendors reflects LumenVox’ reputation as a pioneer in the market and their commitment to providing innovative, natural and intelligent customer experiences.
Speech Technology Magazine’s People’s Choice Awards showcases voice-based technology companies that their readers feel demonstrate excellence, innovation and industry influence with the best technology, products and services. LumenVox won the awards in major categories that speak to the current direction of the market. Voice biometrics provides significant improvement in the security of remote channels, just as Speech Recognition and Text to Speech greatly enhance self-service capabilities.
“It’s an honor to once again be acknowledged by the people who use our technology. Since last year’s awards, LumenVox has continued to deploy and support superior speech and authentication solutions worldwide, including active/passive voice biometric authentication, automated password reset and fraud detection,” said Edward Miller, CEO of Lumenvox. “These awards further demonstrate our role as leaders in the voice industry and drive our resolution to continually improve the customer experience.”
“This year marks the 25th anniversary of Speech Technology magazine’s founding, and the industry is showing no signs of slowing down when it comes to technological innovation,” said Leonard Klie, Speech Technology magazine’s editor. “From consumer electronics to business technology vendors, this year’s winners of the People’s Choice Awards demonstrate the industry’s best and show just how diverse, useful, and popular voice technology has become today.“
The Speech Technology Magazine’s People’s Choice Awards recognizes key industry influencers working within the speech technology market. For the full list of winners, go here.
View the official press release here. Questions about our solutions? Contact us.
LumenVox Luminaries is a podcast that broadcasts thought leadership pieces on the subject of voice technology. This episode features Matt Whipple, Senior Vice President of Global Voice Biometrics Sales with his perspective on fraud and its effect on contact centers as it relates to COVID-19.
You can connect with Matt on LinkedIn here and Twitter here.
Listen to the Podcast
Read the Transcript
Hi, I’m Matt Whipple, the Senior Vice President of Sales for the Voice Biometrics Suite of products within Lumenvox. I’ve been working in voice biometrics for approximately 15 years, give or take.
So today we’re talking about fraud and specifically fraud as it pertains to current events; COVID is changing the world rapidly, and those changes are increasing fraud dramatically, particularly for contact centers. So today we’ll be discussing how COVID-19 is changing the face of fraud in the context in our world.
Q: How is COVID-19 affecting fraud in the contact center? We’re seeing a couple of things: One is a dramatic increase in unemployment. And whenever we see increases in unemployment, we see increases in theft. People are either desperate or people become opportunistic, so let’s look at that a little further. When people are unemployed, they don’t have income; they still have mouths to feed; they’re willing to take advantage of other people or particularly companies when they can’t. So we get people who are not necessarily normally fraudsters starting to perform fraudulent activities. And the least risky way to steal from a financial institution, for example, is over the phone. Walking into a bank with a mask on and a gun in your hand is a surefire way to get caught; calling a call center, well, it’s a very difficult way to get caught. So we’re seeing fraud rising, fraud-related phone calls rising. Moreover, fraudsters are now opportunistic. They’re preying on people who are scared about the uncertainty in the market and as a result, fraudsters are doing social engineering with individuals for the sake of taking over those individuals accounts. They call a financial institution; they pretend to be you using stolen credentials–a Social Security number, a mother’s maiden name, and so on–and they are increasing their attacks within financial institutions.
Q: How can businesses mitigate the risk? Specifically, around fraud in the contact center, there are a bunch of tools. One of the things that contact centers have been doing for a long time is looking for risky transactions. If I never place a high-dollar value wire transfer out of my account and all of a sudden somebody is trying to wire a whole bunch of money out of my account, that could be a sign of fraud. But it also could be a sign of the times. Maybe I’m wired wiring money to friends and family who need it, so there it doesn’t mean there is fraud, it means that banks have to be especially cautious today on these sorts of transactions and any tools that they can have, like the kind of tools that uncover these anomalies, for example, are beneficial tools. Another layer of security–we always think of security in terms of layers—that is being deployed is voice biometrics. When a real customer is calling in on their own account, we compare their voice to their voiceprint on file, and we know who we’re speaking to. We know that this is the real customer; we also have the capability with the sound of the voice to compare a caller’s voice to a voiceprint of known fraudsters. If this is somebody who is stolen from a particular financial institution, for example, we can identify that voice as the voice of a known fraudster; we can flag those transactions and prevent those transactions; we can secure our customers account while ensuring that this company isn’t losing money to those fraudsters. This is how voice biometrics plays a dual role: one is authenticating real users and two is stopping the fraudsters from stealing.
Q: Can you go into greater detail about LumenVox Fraud Scanner? So when we’re looking for fraud within the contact center, specifically using voice, there’s a couple of areas/ a couple of techniques that we use; one of those techniques is scanning high risk calls shortly after the fact. Here’s the idea: If a fraudster is calling it on my account, and they’re using my stolen Social Security number my mother’s maiden whatever the case is, fraudsters may be performing a benign transaction, like just getting my account balance, that might be a low risk transaction, and we might not chase that transaction because there’s not a lot of damage you can do. Now that is the fraudster probing my account which will come back into play a little bit later, but specifically when we get high risk transactions—such as have fraudsters trying to change my mailing address or change my email address or trying to order a new credit card, reporting a lost/ stolen card—or the areas where the fraudster might have the opportunity to intercept my snail mail or my email or to get a new car–which they can then go use either online or in retail, there are certain transactions that we want to scan more than others. So what we do is we take the call recording just after the call. So the fraudster hangs up with the call center agent. Within an hour or a day depending on business rules, we have flexibility, we scan that call; we compare that caller’s voice to the voiceprints of known fraudsters that is people who stolen from us before.
If a fraudster is successful in an account takeover, we listen to that recording, we take that fraudster’s voice; we add it to the watchlist. Now we compare the high-risk calls from today against that watchlist of known fraudsters. If any of today’s voices matched the voiceprints of the fraudsters who have attacked us in the past those accounts/ transactions are flagged, and then what happens is the fraud analyst says “OK, we’ve got a voice matches somebody on the watchlist. It’s an account that doesn’t look like it has other signs of fraud.” Say it’s an address change, or a new card request, for example, the fraud analyst will call that customer the next morning and say, “Hey did you change your address? Did you order a new card?” If the customer says, “Yeah, I did.” Ok, well good. Then you did the right thing. If, however, the customer says, “No, I didn’t do that now.” The fraud analyst says, “OK, good, we just got something on your account; your account is perfectly safe; there’s nothing to worry about here.” We’ve created a positive customer touchpoint, and we’ve salvaged this customer from going through an identity theft, and we’ve saved the bank or the financial institution money. So it’s pretty easy process once it’s set up–these batch files occur almost automatically; the fraud analyst look at the results; they react fairly quickly; we help keep customers safe; we help keep fraud out of it out of the organization.
Q: Can you go into greater detail about LumenVox Passive Voice Biometric Authentication? Passive authentication deployment listens to the audio in real time. So you’ve all heard, “Your call may be monitored or recorded for quality and training purposes.” And it’s true, your call is being recorded, but there’s a couple of things that can be going on behind the scenes. For some of the large banks in the US and for a few of the smaller banks, what’s actually happening is as a customer is having a conversation with a call center agent, their voice is being used to initially create a voiceprint. Once that voiceprint has been built, once the agent has received consent something like, “We’re using voice security now. Is it OK if I tie your voice to the security of your account?” Consumers overwhelmingly say yes. The next time that caller calls in, we’re comparing the caller’s voice to the voiceprint on file and instead of the agent asking for last for your social or your PIN or your mother’s maiden name, the caller’s voice is being compared to the voice profile; the agent is getting a green light on their desktop saying no more security questions necessary. We lower handle times. We save operational costs. And we increase customer satisfaction as well as agent satisfaction. So this is a very positive technology in terms of customer enhancement while driving operational costs down.
Q: What sets LumenVox apart in the market today? LumenVox has a long and rich history in both speech recognition and in voice biometrics. In speech recognition we’re deployed all over the world in dozens of languages. In the voice biometrics world where we have historically played is doing password resets, doing employe-facing applications and deploying active biometrics in the IVR. What’s changing–as the market evolves, as we as a company evolve–we recognize that fraud is growing contact center fraud is growing faster than all other fraud humans are the weakest link, and fraudsters know that. They are exploiting the fact that it’s human, contact center agents whose job is to be helpful, not to be security experts, their job is to be helpful. It’s pretty easy to socially engineer them, so it’s a space that many of us within LumenVox have been playing in for a very long time. We’ve got tremendous depth in terms of a fraud detection capabilities. We’re bringing it to market in a slightly different way, which is meant to be repeatable, fast and nimble. As we’re catching fraudsters, the market’s changing quickly we’re going to differentiate by adapting more quickly than some of the big more established vendors who are already in this space.
COVID-19 is redesigning the way we go about daily life. Avoiding unnecessary interactions means customers must find alternative modes of communication with businesses, including financial institutions.
Banks and credit unions are encouraging customers to utilize online, mobile and phone financial channels to complete transactions. This increased reliance on remote channels raises the risk of criminal activity. The US government has already noted a spike: The Federal Trade Commission issued a warning concerning COVID-19 scams.
Institutions must have mechanisms in place to detect fraudulent activities and stop it in its tracks, before it’s too late. LumenVox Fraud Scanner is a voice-based fraud detection tool that’s an easy and inexpensive way to combat contact center fraud.
On average it takes 7 months to discover fraudulent transactions. Fraud Scanner can cut that down to a matter of hours.
Fraud Scanner is fast to deploy in any environment.
LumenVox provides the configuration services.
Fraud Scanner is put into action, catching fraudsters using voice biometrics.
Fraudulent transaction loss reductions can start immediately, improving your bottom line.
Fraud Scanner matches caller audio against known or suspected fraudster voiceprints. A caller whose voice matches a fraudster voiceprint receives further investigation, so fraud analysts can determine if the call is legitimate or if a fraudster is preying upon a customer account.
Fraud analysts can compare a specified set of audio recordings against a single watchlist or multiple watchlists. These batch processes can occur in near real-time, either hourly or daily, depending on your requirements and abilities.
We want you to be on the offensive. The best way to do that is to start with a simple conversation, where we can address feasibility, business case and resource requirements.
LumenVox and OneVault partner to deliver state of the art Voice Biometrics
San Diego,CA, United States and Johannesburg, South Africa – LumenVox, a global leader in speech and authentication solutions, has partnered with South African industry leader OneVault to deliver state of the art Voice Biometrics solutions.
OneVault has been implementing Voice Biometric solutions in the South African marketplace for over 8 years. The company is consistently pushing the envelope with their technology, recently offering innovative multifactor authentication with the integration of biometrics into identity management platforms. As remote authentication becomes a business imperative, especially in Africa, OneVault is meeting the demand for secure technical and commercial biometric solutions.
Partnering with LumenVox, OneVault is now able to utilize LumenVox’ Voice Biometric algorithms, expertly crafted by the LumenVox team. The proprietary LumenVox technology will provide OneVault the opportunity to offer authentication solutions across a range of innovative channels and use cases. With this integration, OneVault can continue to deliver optimized and tailored biometric solutions, but with greater flexibility and agility, for enhanced productivity and protection.
“At OneVault we believe in the power of strengthening authentication. We are thrilled to be working with LumenVox to deliver cutting-edge biometric modalities that are so urgently needed by businesses to provide their customers with a convenient and secure channel,” said Paul Hutton, CEO of OneVault.
“OneVault and LumenVox bring a world of experience and insight into the biometrics field. Together I am confident we can fill a major gap within the biometrics market, specifically when it comes to tailored integration. OneVault has a proven track record of successful rollouts and meticulous tuning. Our technology combined with their conscientious team of experts will result in exciting development,” said Edward Miller, CEO of LumenVox.
OneVault unlocks the power of the human voice to provide the most secure remote authentication channels available in the market today. They have developed a set of core competencies and IP unique across the African market. OneVault offers their clients secure, accessible, third-factor authentication that integrates convenience, efficiency and unparalleled peace of mind for both clients and customers.
As the world continues to react to COVID-19 (coronavirus), the LumenVox team is readily prepared to help our clients deliver excellent customer service amid surmounting challenges. Here are a few LumenVox best practice ideas and relevant solutions that apply to the new sign of the times:
Best Practice #1: Play it safe. It is important for everyone to deliver great customer service and balance the need to protect your staff. At LumenVox we are limiting staff travel and providing our headquarter offices with the option to work from home. Many of our colleagues are doing the same, as significant industry events have been rescheduled (See our new appearance dates here and watch this space for upcoming virtual events). In every business, people should come first.
Best Practice #2: Boost remote engagement technology. Communication is key when daily life is disrupted. Customers rely upon remote channels to gather information. One way you can elevate your business’ remote engagement strategy is with automated outbound calling. LumenVox Call Progress Analysis enables innovative, tone-based outbound calling to inform customers of changes to times, events, etc. What’s special about LumenVox’ solution is that we can deliver a significantly higher payload compared to competitors, as our Call Progress Analysis is able to verify if an outbound call has been connected to a live person or an automated recording system. Additionally, we have such flexible licensing, we offer “bursting” to assist with higher than usual call volumes.
Best Practice #3: Ensure secure authentication. Secure authentication is paramount as call centers are increasingly overloaded with calls. Do you have cutting-edge technology to make sure every customer is who they say they are? Voice biometrics protects and defends vulnerable voice channels from criminal activity. Both active and passive biometrics keep customer accounts secure, and the interaction seamless.
As for LumenVox, our technology is immune, always up and running and we are here to ensure no disruption of our products and services. We want you to be able to say the same. Let us know how we can help you keep your customers feeling connected and safe.
Recently the LumenVox team attended CCW to empower businesses to deliver seamless yet secure customer communication through advanced speech and authentication solutions. While there, we had the opportunity to have been interviewed by CrmXchange for their CCW Nashville 2020 column: Solution Providers and End Users Harmonize in Music City
Good question. We have zeroed in on the following:
Speech Recognition: This includes conversational IVR with text-to-speech capabilities that create a very functional, conversational IVR self-service.
Voice Biometrics: We get really excited about this, as it addresses a huge threat to businesses right now—fraud. Voice biometrics is used to keep customers safe, to secure authentication and keep the customer experience painless and easy. Businesses can implement voice biometrics using IVR, mobile applications or in the contact center.
In 2019 we hit over a million voiceprints. For 2020, our development team combined customer feedback with their biometric expertise and created a robust passive engine, which allows for machine learning to enhance features and customer benefits. With the inclusion of Deep Neural Network technology, LumenVox has positioned itself to provide higher accuracy, more fraud prevention tools and increased customer satisfaction/ service.
There are numerous companies in your space…how do your solutions stand out from your competitors?
We’re easier to work with in every way. Our company is very focused on our channel partners. And our customers rave about how flexible the architecture and capabilities are. Our consistently high NPS scores (currently 89) reflect how much they appreciate our responsiveness. All speech recognizers and text-to-speech engines perform the same tasks, but they really don’t offer the higher value that comes from our simple install-configure-use approach. Things like our built-in diagnostics make it quick and easy to set up or troubleshoot things, and the LumenVox Speech Tuner is the easiest product on the market to implement and improve the performance of your speech applications, based on real customer usage.
On the voice biometrics side, while we do the installation and training, we’re also very open and flexible: We have APIs that are easily integrated into a contact center agent’s desktop or CRM applications. We see this as an important differentiator because managers really want applications consolidated. So the capability to take our biometrics results and integrate that information smoothly makes it easier for everyone.
From an implementation services standpoint, we don’t lock our customers into having to use our professional services. We enable both our partners and IVR developers to work from various platforms, using their own services while deploying our speech recognition technology. Our holistic approach results in us being more competitive, or and cost-effective. We don’t think cutting-edge technology needs to come at a premium price. We want this technology to be available to everyone.
Can you define how biometrics work in the contact center?
All biometrics measure something you’re made of. We’re used to smartphones using fingerprints and facial recognition/ faceprints to authenticate us now. Makes you feel more secure, right? The call center is evolving, too, and with our technology can create the same level of protection using the human voice. An enterprise contact center obtains a sample of your voice and converts it into a secure file called a voiceprint. Once there’s a voiceprint on file, the next time you call into the center, you don’t have to answer those painful security questions (which, by the way, are often vulnerable to theft). Using a voiceprint means that as a consumer you have a better calling experience. And as a business, you get more security.
Is it possible to fraudulently manipulate a voice biometric? Can someone pick up a customer’s voice pattern or convincingly imitate them?
Well, even mothers can be fooled by twins. We don’t want to be so hubristic as to claim that we somehow have something over Mother Nature. But voice biometrics takes major precautions: We use multiple factors when creating the voiceprint. The human ear might not be able to detect an impersonator, but our solution will notice hundreds of subtle differences. A company can also use multiple phrases as an identifier or ask varying questions to prevent a breach.
The truth is customers understand that the threat is real and want an added layer of unique security. A recent study noted that 74% of Americans believe that biometrics is a more secure method of verifying accounts than traditional PINs and passwords. Hacks and data breaches are commonplace occurrences now. And there are long, long gaps in notification—customers may not know they were exposed for nine months sometimes. Since many people tend to use the same PINs and passwords for multiple accounts, they are vulnerable. Voice biometrics protects and defends privacy. It’s that simple.
In what industries are recognition technologies becoming prevalent?
Any and all, as the desire for a seamless customer-agent interaction increases. People want to reach a customer representative to solve the bigger, more complex problems and spend their valuable time self-servicing/ solving the easier ones on their own. We’re working more and more with financial institutions and healthcare providers, as we have the capabilities to not only enhance their IVR experience, but also provide stronger security. As businesses grow, we see these two factors go hand-in-hand. People want security, but they don’t want to compromise speed and efficiency to get it. Our —speech solutions provide the best of both worlds.
What are some of the tangible benefits of Natural Language Processing IVR applications?
NLU gives self-service that human touch that people really seek in the customer journey. It’s the best of all worlds: Customers can help themselves quickly, but can also feel as if they’re doing it effortlessly–with a fellow human mind at the helm. As for LumenVox, our new Conversational ASR combines 20 years of experience in Speech Recognition with the latest in Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning, allowing any business to build new AI-based IVR applications that support natural language processing and intent determination from an existing voice application platform (IVR). The best part is that as a business you really don’t have to start from scratch to do this. Text-based AI tools can be given a voice with LumenVox ASR. You can leverage your existing infrastructure and preferred tools to provide rich, voice based self-service that exceeds expectations.