Blog article
See all stories »

An article relating to this blog post on Finextra:

Brits wary of bank call centre security

Britons have little faith in the ability of banks to look after their personal information, with call centres seen as a particularly weak link in the security chain.

See article

Can voice biometrics help banks restore consumer faith?

This survey from Avaya and Sabio caught my eye recently as it shows how concerned consumers are about data privacy and security. And it is an unfortunate fact that financial institutions are the ones that consumers trust less with their personal information. Essentially, the survey shows that

(1)  customers feel that giving a call centre operator their card details is less secure than entering a PIN or using a voice biometric tool. In other words customers feel that an automated process is more secure than one involving a human being;

(2)  banks are more likely to suffer a data breach than MNOs or retailers and consumers don’t like cumbersome security processes where there are too many questions or the process is not integrated.

I think that a solution here is around an automated pre-authentication, which is far more secure and customer friendly than an operator based authentication model. Such automated pre-authentication model could be underpinned by voice biometrics, which is now a mature technology, very effective and easy to use. Even if there is a data breach from within the bank (not necessarily through the call centre), the very use of voice biometrics on the call-centre channel (and/or other channels) prevent the use of the breached identity data by fraudsters.

Voice Biometrics offers many advantages including the ones below:

  1. It removes the human operator from the authentication process
  2. It prevents the information obtained through data breaches from being used
  3. It removes the need for complex passwords and PINs
  4. When properly integrated, it can remove the need to duplicate the authentication process.

What the security industry can do is make it very difficult for fraudsters to actually use the stolen data to access bank accounts. This ensures that a complex security model can be implemented, with low/no friction resulting in high ease-of-use for the consumer/bank customer, and engendering confidence and trust in technology. Security is not an end point solution – consumers agree!




Comments: (1)

Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune 12 April, 2013, 11:31Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

No, it'd probably end up further alienating customers who're already tired of friction and frustrated with false positives involved in most biometrics-based security systems. As I'd highlighted in my comment to this post, voice and fingerprint based access control is either too costly or too unreliable, with the author of the post reporting that her fingerprint scanner worked only 2% of the time. Of course, things could be different if voice biometrics systems starts delivering higher reliability and lower false positives without costing much more than they do at present.

Pat Carroll

Pat Carroll

Founder/Executive Chairman


Member since

17 Mar 2011



Blog posts




This post is from a series of posts in the group:

Disruption in Retail Banking

Growth in internet and mobile technologies has transformed many industries and economies. The market forces and competitive landscape has completely changed in many sectors. iTunes has fundamentally changed music industry, Amazon has driven most big brick and mortar book sellers out of business, Expedia is one of the worlds' biggest travel company….. the list goes on. Internet and mobile technologies are big disrupters for most industries. What started (and tapered a bit!) with the dot com boom of 2000 has become a lethal threat to most business models today. Powered by mass adoption in mobiles phones, proliferation of smart phones and cheaper band-width, internet and mobile technology have changed many industries. The banking industry in has been dominated by a handful of big global or regional banks for 100s of years. While the credit crisis has shaken this industry, the core market forces for the industry have not changed. Will Innovation in Internet and Mobile technologies disrupt retail banking? Will there be 5 new names in global top 10 retail banks in 2020?

See all

Now hiring