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.
There are three key issues on credit unions’ minds right now: Fraud, operations, and member experience. Fraud is a rising issue due to uncertain economic times. Operational efficiencies are a high priority because the contact center is now being inundated with calls—time, more than ever, is money. Member experience is always at the top of the priority list because it inspires every roadmap.
Is there a solution that can address all three?
There is. Passive Voice Biometric Authentication effortlessly authenticates members over the phone during the natural course of conversation with an agent. Members register their voiceprint, and on subsequent calls, their voice is matched to this unique identifier, giving the agent a green light when the identity claim is genuine and a red light when a fraudster is attempting an account takeover. This solution addresses these areas with these three key strategies for credit unions to tackle the following:
Passive voice biometrics, including fraudster detection, is a layer of security that seamlessly works with humans to prevent mistakes that often go unnoticed today. When a call comes in, the caller’s voice is compared to the voiceprints of known fraudsters. The agent is alerted and coached from there to take evasive action.
Reduce Agent Handle Times. Agents dread the first few minutes of every call. With LumenVox Passive Voice Biometric Authentication they can start solving the caller’s problem with confidence, verifying identity within seconds, not minutes. LumenVox Passive Voice Biometric Authentication results in reducing AHT by 30 – 60 seconds per call. This drives cost out of the contact center and improves your bottom line.
According to a study by Salesforce, 84% of customers say the experience a company provides is as important as its products or services. Voice biometrics enable your credit union to give your members a positive authentication experience, from the very beginning of the call. With LumenVox Passive Voice Biometric Authentication the member can be authenticated while speaking comfortably and naturally to an agent, reducing the need for a long line of interrogative questioning. Contact centers with passive voice biometrics start by asking their customers “How are you today?” instead of “Who are you, and are you who you say you are?”
Passive Voice Biometric Authentication is available today. Interested in learning more? Watch the short video on this page and contact us today!
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.
Passive Voice Biometrics is Emerging as a Leading Authentication Modality for Remote Channels
Authenticating customers over remote channels is often a painful process. The first few minutes of the call can be rough, as the customer can’t self-service, but must engage directly with an agent, answering repetitious personal questions. There are inherent risks, too: An agent can ask for sensitive information, but what if that information is in fraudulent hands?
Businesses that deal with large volumes of faceless customers are seeking an authentication method that boosts security and creates a seamless interaction. Passive voice biometrics does just this, mitigating risk while eliminating effort.
Passive voice biometrics verifies a caller’s claimed identity by first enrolling a customer’s voice, quietly, in the background of a routine call with an agent. The biometric engine picks up details the human ear can’t—including pronunciation, rhythm, and speed of the voice. These subtleties caught by the biometric engine are used to create a unique identifier, a voiceprint, which is just as unique as a fingerprint. This voiceprint is then matched against that same customer for each new, incoming call.
In contrast to active voice biometrics, passive is text-independent, which means the caller’s voiceprint is not correlated to a specific phrase. Instead, the voiceprint is correlated to that customer’s voice in natural conversation. There is no explicit effort by either party. The technology does the heavy lifting. This results in reduced agent handling times and a significant Return on Investment.
On a broader scale, passive voice biometrics is more secure than other authentication methods: The customer can’t forget or misplace his/her own voiceprint. A fraudster can’t hack it. Passive empowers contact centers to be one step ahead of any malicious activity. A mismatched voiceprint can immediately trigger guidance for agents to ensure early fraud detection.
LumenVox recently announced an upgrade to the biometric authentication suite, Version 8. This upgrade includes a core authentication engine with new passive voice integration which enables automated fraud detection.
Want to learn more about LumenVox Passive Voice Biometric Authentication face to face? Look for us at Call and Contact Centre Expo in London, March 18-19, stand 2061, where we”ll be talking to attendees directly about our solutions. Also, be sure to join us on March 18 at 11:45 am in Theatre 10 where we’ll be presenting “Using Voice Biometrics in the Contact Center: A Primer.” Come say hi!
At LumenVox we have big plans for 2020. The release of our Version 8 Suite takes advantage of years of development, testing, and expertise. With more customer conveniences and improved user interfaces, it enables a variety of multi-modal solutions.
Our passionate engineers and industry experts could go on and on, but here are a few major highlights that propel this Version 8 Suite forward:
We made sure to incorporate a new core competency, passive voice biometrics. Our passive engine is based on cutting-edge, Deep Neural Network technology, and is faster and more sophisticated than ever before. The incorporation of DNNs enables automated fraud scanning, so that your business can protect and defend your customers with less effort and greater accuracy.
We focused on your biggest issue: Fraud. Our experts spent countless hours improving LumenVox’ Fraud Scanner, which enables your team to spend less time worrying about fraudsters so they can put that energy into caring for real customers. Fraud Scanner provides fraud alerts and automatic matching of voiceprints against a carefully curated fraudster watchlist. It works 24/7 so the fraud team doesn’t have to – utilizing continuous enrollment, verification adaptation and enrichments of voiceprints to quickly identify suspicious actors.
We took your biggest ask and made it a reality: A brand new Agent Desktop Portal with an increasing set of functionalities, including continuous enrollment and verification; enrollment over multiple calls; enrollment consistency check; voiceprint enrichment; customer selection and addition; real-time watch listing; audio reset and speaker change.
We made sure to do some housekeeping: There are bug fixes and updates for 7.2 password reset system including major improvements on mobile apps and windows pre-login application; language pack and workflow installers. Version 8 is sleeker and smoother.
Version 8 capitalizes upon years of experience and expertise to deliver a more total solution so you can easily improve the customer experience. Ready to learn more about how Version 8 can work best for your business? Don’t be shy. Click here to talk to one of our representatives.
To view our official Version 8 announcement click here.