Lloyds TSB Registrars has deployed a telephone-based speech recognition service from UK speech technology specialist SRC for its employee share incentive programme (Sip).
The system handles free shares, partnership shares and save as you earn (SAYE) schemes and asks callers for a unique reference number, surname and national insurance details.
A unique grammar was developed to support the speech system, which took two and a half months to complete and is hosted remotely on SRC's carrier-grade platform built on Nortel Networks' technology.
Chris Bush, Lloyds TSB Registrars senior manager, says the 24/7 service is simple for users and is more cost-effective than paper-based systems.
"The hosted speech technology system from SRC doesn't impact on internal IT resources and ensures our call centre is not burdened with thousands of extra calls from people trying to register for shares," he says.
SRC CEO, Chris Hart, says speech recognition helps institutions comply with FSA regulations on the purchase of shares by eliminating the risk of agents discussing choices with callers and ensuring each call uses standard approved prompts.
"The accuracy and cost effectiveness of speech recognition is enabling share register administration to finally become a simple, paperless exercise," he adds.
The bank says customer feedback has been positive and it is looking at ways to extend the system to other share registration products and clients.
Lloyds TSB, which was the first UK financial institution to operate a completely paperless employee share scheme, estimates half its 75,000 eligible employees will use the speech recognition service to register for Sip.