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Providing a Secure and Efficient Customer Experience with Voice Biometrics

Posted by Kathy Sobus on Mar 5, 2019 10:00:00 AM

This blog was co-authored by Windsor Tanner, Vice President Solution Sales, Americas, NICE.

Bad things only happen to other companies—not yours, right? Your company exists in a bubble, which means you’re safe from fraud.

In reality, we all live in a world filled with people who make their living scamming others. I was reminded of this recently when I read an article on hackers getting into baby monitors and “Ring” devices. While the story is unfortunately nothing new, it is a wake-up call for all of us on fraud and hackers.

As our world becomes more connected and more accessible, what are the repercussions? More data becomes available in more places—and hackers abound, which means you are responsible for putting safeguards in place to protect customer data. In fact, there are a number of fines that can be imposed as a result of not having adequate identity theft protection. Millions are at stake for consumers and businesses alike. Last year alone, identity fraudsters stole $16 billion from 15.4 million victims.

Fraud Protection in the Contact Center

“Vishing” (voice phishing) intrusion occurs when a person tries to impersonate a customer to gain access to their information. While 60% of the account takeover incidents involve the contact center, there is a fine line between protecting consumers (and your company) and taking actions that lead to customer dissatisfaction. 85% of customers are dissatisfied with the authentication process, and who could blame them? How many times have you called a company only to hear these common prompts?

  • Mother’s maiden name
  • Last four digits of your social security number
  • First street you lived on
  • High school mascot
  • First pet’s name

The list goes on.

Let’s not forget that this process takes 20-90 seconds per call. Even more troubling is the fact that legitimate callers have a 30% false reject rate (FRR)—whereas fraudsters are able to answer these questions 70% of the time! Many fail to realize just how easily accessible this information is, mostly because we’re all sharing it so openly! All it takes is a quick scan of your social media profiles for most of the information, and the rest can easily be Googled. It’s a scary thought that makes you want to hide under a rock!

When it comes to authentication, the more questions we ask, the worse the efficiency is and the easier it is for data to be compromised. Let’s not forget that for 82% of consumers, getting an issue resolved quickly is the primary determinant of a great customer experience. Despite this, 65% of contact centers require authentication, though the exact number varies by industry (88% in finance, 66% in insurance, and 54% in medical, for example).

More Effective—and Efficient—Alternatives

There are other ways to safeguard your information, especially when dealing with a contact center or other entity that helps customers handle issues with their account or services. The most notable example is biometrics, and while there are various forms of it, I’ll focus on voice biometrics for the purposes of this blog.

Real-Time Authentication (RTA) provides secure authentication while preventing your organization from damaging the customer experience with a slow and ineffective authentication process. You can leverage voice biometrics to keep bad guys out while ensuring that legitimate callers are able to easily access their services. Just a few short years ago, the accuracy rate for this type of technology was 86-90%. Today, it is anywhere from 93-97%, depending on the audio length and if the recording is in mono or stereo.

With voice biometrics, authentication takes place in the first few seconds of the call. Both enrollment and authentication are passive—they happen in the background, without requiring customers to pause or divert their attention away from the topic they wish to discuss. Most, if not all, of the authentication process is eliminated, saving an average of 40 seconds per call. Not only does this give your customers the experience they deserve, but you’ve got a built in return on investment by reducing talk time.

If we think about fraud, most of the time the customer is the one who realizes there is an issue. It’s really too late by this point, as accounts and identities have already been compromised. As a result, sophisticated authentication systems are applying machine learning and other intellectual property to flag potential fraudsters in the system. Adding them to a watchlist allows for an extra measure of proactive identification.

The best solutions in the authentication space use a single voiceprint and a single system across channels, as having consistency across channels is important to the customer experience. Monitoring throughout the call is a plus, as well, just in case there is a speaker change.

Let’s review. With Real-Time Authentication and Fraud Prevention, you can:

  • Securely authenticate customers in real time, with no customer effort
  • Expedite time-to-service for legitimate customers
  • Generate real-time alerts for high-risk interactions and guide agents in real time to take the next-best action
  • Provide device and number authentication and validation as a second factor of authentication on top of the voice biometrics analysis layer
  • Identify fraudsters in an offline mode that analyzes similar voiceprints from mismatches to identify fraudsters
  • Close the loop, making sure that you only enroll legitimate customers
  • Create a multi-beneficiary environment to quickly authenticate interactions with multiple customers on a single account

I encourage you to explore how voice biometrics for Real-Time Authentication can help you protect your business and your customers—all while ensuring you can provide the efficient experience that delights your customers.

To learn more about Real-Time Authentication and fraud protection for your contact center, download our webinar playback. 


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Topics: Customer Experience, Cybersecurity