United Bank Limited (UBL) has selected VoiceTrust to provide a voice biometrics-based platform to verify the identity of retail and enterprise customers.
In an announcement, VoiceTrust says the Pakistani bank will integrate the Altitude uCl suite into its IVR system to authenticate customers, government employees, and pensioners using their voice. The system will work for both English and Urdu speakers.
According to the press release, the bank will also use the “VoiceTrust Proof-of-Life® solution to prevent pension fraud and overpayments with voice biometrics.” By verifying customer identity over the telephone to release funds, the system will make the process more convenient, saving the customer the hassle of traveling to a branch and waiting in line.
UBL, founded in 1959, operates a network of more than 1,200 branches across Pakistan and has 17 overseas branches. In 1971, the bank was nationalized by the Pakistani government, before being sold in open auction to private investors in 2002 to form United National Bank Limited.
Opus Research is pleased to announce José Ignacio Zorrilla, with Banco Santander Mexico, will present key findings from a new contact center strategy for customer authentication in a keynote presentation for Voice Biometrics Conference San Francisco (May 14-15, 2014).
With more than 3 million calls into contact centers monthly, Banco Santander Mexico is using voice biometrics as a means to identify and authenticate banking customers rather than relying on passwords and knowledge-based questions. The new strategy helps improve contact center efficiency, says Ignacio, in reducing the time it takes for agents to identify customers and helps streamline the customer experience.
As Executive Director of Channels at Banco Santander Mexico, Ignacio is in charge of the operation of state-of-the-art contact centers, Internet banking, mobile and ATM networks for a commercial bank serving 6.5 million customers. Ignacio will highlight the organizational strategy for Banco Santander Mexico in assessing new technologies for customer authentication and outline the opportunities and challenges in implementing the voice biometrics solution.
Santander México is the country’s third largest financial group by business volume, with market shares of 14.8% in deposits and 13% in loans, and the first Santander country to implement voiceprint technology.
U.S. Bank is currently piloting the use of voice biometrics as a means for user authentication in accessing its mobile app to check account balances, search transaction or make a payment. The announcement, by the fifth largest U.S. commercial bank, signifies the growing acceptance of voice biometrics as a natural method to identify users for retail banking mobile apps.
As part of the announcement, Dominic Venturo, chief innovation officer for U.S. Bank Payment Services, outlines the case for voice biometrics in improving the customer experience: “Customers are becoming accustomed to using their voice to interact with their smartphones and can become frustrated with key entering passwords. Exploring a spoken passphrase login through this technology is a logical next step in our work in biometrics,” said Venturo.
Adding the voice biometrics feature to its mobile app is an extension of a pilot by U.S. Bank last April in deploying a branded version of Nuance Communications’ Nina Mobile to support a speech-enabled mobile virtual assistant.
“Innovative organizations like U.S. Bank recognize that voice biometrics can bring a new level of convenience and security to the customer service experience,” said Robert Weideman, executive vice president and general manager of the Nuance Enterprise Division in the press release. “By eliminating the interrogation process that consumers are typically put through and replacing it with a natural, conversational voice interaction, companies can really start to reinvent their customer service experience.”
U.S. Bank oversees $364 billion in assets and operates 3,081 banking offices in 25 states and 4,906 ATMs. The company is known for it early adoption of advanced payment features, including trials of near field communications (NFC).
Interesting article up on IT News Africa where Darren Arnold, Dimension Data’s managing executive for Contact Centre Solutions, lays out the virtues of voice biometrics to solve most authentication problems. He clearly underscores the problem with current strategies of verifying one’s identity — mainly PINs and passwords — as risky and the value of voice biometrics as a technology game changer.
Arnold points out a large cellular was the first South African company to adopt voice biometrics and how JP Morgan recently authorised a transfer of US$550 million using a voice biometrics password.
But while there are clear benefits to voice biometrics technology, Arnold touches on the challenges of widespread adoption:
One of the challenges is that organisations are not clear on the difference between speech recognition technology and voice biometrics. Speech recognition technology is programmed to understand statements or questions from customer and offer a specific response. By contrast, voice biometrics works on the unique tone, resonance, pitch, and biological characteristics of a person’s voice, regardless of the words used. It is the uniqueness of each human voice that makes voice biometrics a security tool.
Based in South Africa, Dimension Data is an IT services provider that was acquired by Japanese telco NTT Group for $3.2 billion in 2010.
Opus Research is pleased to announce VBC San Francisco 2014 is being held May 14-15 at the historic Fairmont San Francisco on Nob Hill.
With an emphasis on sharing real-world experiences, VBC 2014 is the premier global event showcasing the the latest developments and deployments in how companies are using voice biometrics and multi-factor authentication to support simple, secure and trusted communications. Applications span contact centers, interactive channels, and mobile devices in efforts to prevent fraud and enable secure commerce.
Since 2007, Voice Biometrics Conferences have featured executive speakers and networking opportunities among those who represent customer care, mobile commerce and security experts from banks, telecom carriers, healthcare & insurance providers, financial services, government agencies and more.
And don’t miss your chance to take advantage of a special “early” early bird registration fee of $349, half off the full-conference price (ends January 31st).
Be sure to book your room at The Fairmont San Francisco. Opus Research has guaranteed a room block for the special rate of $299/night + taxes, but space is limited.
Opus Research is pleased to announce Voice Biometrics Conference being held May 14-15 in San Francisco.
This premier industry event showcases the progress of technologies to support simple, secure and trusted communications and e-commerce, spanning contact centers, interactive channels and mobile devices.
Among the topics to be addressed include how companies are using voice biometrics and multi-factor authentication to:
• Secure mobile and enterprise Virtual Assistants
• Simplify customer authentication and access
• Replace PINs and Passwords
• Leverage Big Data and Analytics with Biometrics Technologies
• Scale up e-commerce and mobile security solutions
• Make e-government more accessible
• Use voiceprints to prevent fraud and identity theft
• Share best practices (for enrollment, authentication, authorization)
• Develop new enterprise use cases (e.g. strong auth for BYOD)
To see the current agenda and for more information about VBC San Francisco 2014, click here.
Held since 2007, Voice Biometrics Conferences have featured executive speakers from diversified telecom providers (Turkcell, Avea) and banks (Barclays, Wells Fargo, Tatra Bank and others) to share their experiences and suggest best practices.
If you are interested in delivering a presentation or participating in a panel discussion, please contact Derek Top (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Or be sure to secure your spot as an attendee at the “early” early bird registration fee of $349 (ends February 1st).
During the past year, the FIDO Alliance has been aggressively promoting alternatives to increasingly hard-to-remember passwords. Its efforts have been amplified at this years Consumer Electronics Show (CES), including announcements from a number of providers of “FIDO-ready™” solutions. That list includes voice-biometrics specialist AGNITiO. In conjunction with fellow FIDO Alliance member Nok Nok Labs, AGNITiO demonstrated secure mobile transaction initiation relying on AGNITiO’s Voice ID software for voice-based user authentication.
The term FIDO-ready™ refers to the fact that a solution has passed the FIDO Alliance’s certification processes. This sort of conformance testing is key to the alliance efforts to promote interoperability among a diverse set of technology and service providers. The list of Alliance members includes household names like MasterCard, Google and Microsoft). In addition to Nok Nok Labs and AGNITiO, the list of companies whose products conform to the FIDO Alliance Protocol and specifications includes GO-Trust (which offers a micro-SD card for strong authentication), FingerQ (fingerprint-based authentication), Synaptics (“touch-based authentication), and Yubico (offering physical tokens that conform to FIDO’s “Universal 2nd Framework” (U2F) for two-factor solutions).
The importance of showcasing simple, strong authentication methods at CES cannot be overstated. CES 2014 is a coming out party for FIDO and it is important for its members to demonstrate working solutions and for AGNITiO to be present to show that voice biometrics are, rightfully, on par with other physical and biometric solutions.
This week we learned Target reported criminals had stolen customer names, credit or debit card numbers, expiration dates and three-digit security codes for 40 million customers who had shopped at its stores. Reportedly, hackers gained access to the point of sales systems in the stores.
While large-scale security breaches like this one at Target appear in the news on a regular basis, it’s still somehow surprising to find identity theft now costs Americans nearly twice as much as property crime as reported by the Atlantic Monthly.
The article points out how property and violent crime tend be more visceral to the victims — it’s where we live and work — and thus grab the pubic attention. But a recent report by the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics found that total losses attributed to identity theft in 2012 were $24.6 billion, compared to $13.9 billion for property crimes.
Still, only 9 percent of identity theft victims even contact the police. This failure to report identity theft crimes underscores how helpless victims may feel in police investigating, capturing and convicting those who commit the dirty deeds. Victims tend to assume financial institutions will resolve the problem. And this lack of enforcement likely perpetuates the growing cadre of fraudsters eager to repeat identity theft attacks.
In delivering trusted, secure communications and transactions, voice biometrics could play a part in preventing fraud and minimizing the financial damages from identity theft. No doubt we will hear about future credit card security breaches and no doubt this will continue to be a lucrative market for criminals. But with a few simple measures, identity authentication and verification technologies could help stem the tide against identity theft.
ValidSoft, a specialist in multi-factor authentication solutions, has joined the FIDO (Fast Identity Online) Alliance in its efforts to develop a standards-based, open protocol for online authentication. U.K.-based ValidSoft joins payments industry giants PayPal, Lenovo, Mastercard and Google, as well as voice biometrics solutions provider Agnitio.
Launched in February 2013 and now counting more than 50 members, the FIDO Alliance has a goal to reduce reliance on usernames and passwords as a means to authenticate online users. In creating ‘low-friction’ authentication methods embedded in device hardware, FIDO members share a vision of simple, strong authentication to support electronic transactions and commerce.
“We’re pleased to support FIDO Alliance’s efforts to create and implement simpler and higher authentication standards that will help protect people from ever more sophisticated fraud,” said Pat Carrol, chairman of ValidSoft, as part of the announcement.
FIDO Alliance President and PayPal CISO Michael Barrett also said in the announcement, “ValidSoft’s contribution to our Alliance supports our industry goal to make user authentication easier and safer for all parties.” In a webinar this week, Barrett said he expected FIDO-ready authentication solutions to be available in the market within the first quarter of 2014.
This has been a busy year for the London-based ValidSoft, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Elephant Talk Communications Corp. In October, ValidSoft demoed an app integrating an in-band mobile authentication platform and voice biometrics technology into Spindle’s new MeNetwork360 mobile commerce ecosystem. The new app brings together mobile payments and marketing by enabling mobile users to search, transact and build relationships with multiple merchants.
Also in October, ValidSoft teamed up with OmniTueri to pilot a mobile application and cloud-based solution to address portability issues when dealing with electronic medical records (EMR) programs. The concept incorporates voice authentication into a mobile application to protect sensitive healthcare information.
And in September, ValidSoft announced the inclusion of Zero Latency Correlation (ZLC) in the company’s solution for smartphone wallet applications. ZLC monitors invisible authentication factors in detecting fraud and helping facilitate mobile transactions.
On the heels of this week’s unprecedented $13 billion mortgage settlement by JP Morgan Chase for its bad lending practices, a Spain-based speech analytics firm is targeting the financial services market with software tools to monitor and manage financial traders’ behaviors. Fonetic, a 10-year old private company, provides a cross-channel technology to analyze and decode trader interactions via speech analytics for phone, email and chat communications, and social media monitoring.
With a focus on insurance, telecommunications, government and finance, Fonetic has found particular traction in offering solutions for enterprises looking to comply with the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. This landmark piece of legislation was signed into law by President Obama in July 2010 as a response to the financial crisis of the “Great Recession” and serves as a regulatory tool to keep banks and financial services firms in check.
According to Simon Richards, global sales and marketing director with Fonetic, Dodd-Frank has had worldwide repercussions as any global financial services firm that carries out trades with U.S. banks must comply.
Fonetic’s technology takes unstructured data from voice, email and chat interactions to create a searchable database to analyze communications based on content, reconstruct trades, or identify risk patterns. The company names BBVA as a signature customer, who has been using the technology since 2009. Richards says Fonetic has only publicly been promoting their software as Dodd-Frank record-keeping solution since April of this year.
The company’s uses Nuance speech processing technology and Genesys SpeechMiner platform for call processing. With connectors into all sources of voice and text traffic into a bank infrastructure, the technology can handle up to 79 languages, but primarily caters to English, French, and Spanish.
Last week, Fonetics added voice biometrics as a way for banks to verify a caller’s identity, track their interactions, and authenticate transactions by traders. The company names Agnitio as the technology provider and offers voice biometrics as an additional feature for banks requesting authentication capabilities.
“For banks looking to implement a Dodd-Frank trading record keeping solution before the April 2014 deadline, Fonetic’s solution is still the only fully-functioning and proven platform available on the market, and we continue to drive industry innovation by being the first to integrate biometric voice analysis” said Juan Manuel Soto in a statement from last week.
The company is planning to open a U.S. office in New York City in the first quarter of next year, with designs on opening future offices in London and Singapore.