On the heels of last May’s Voice Biometrics Conference San Francisco, Opus Research is proud to bring its global conference series to London, November 6-7. VBC London will showcase the ever-expanding set of deployed solutions and future opportunities for voice biometrics to support convenient authentication, detect and prevent fraud in contact centers and promote secure communications through mobile devices.
VBC London is shaping up nicely. Don’t miss your chance to attend at the early-bird rate (£499.00), offer ends September 13. To highlight a few sessions:
Case Study: Barclays Wealth
Hear how one of the largest global banks deploys voice-based authentication in the background, saving time for advisors and making a better experience for their clients without compromising security. Presented by Iain Hanlon, head of change delivery and the global client experience at Barclays Wealth.
Case Study: Tatra Bank
Established as the first private bank in Slovakia, Tatra Bank is currently the country’s third largest bank with more than 160 branches and 3200 employees. Michal Liday, retail head at Tatra Banka, will present a case study on the company’s recently deployed voice biometrics solution for telephone banking, establishing more than 40,000 voiceprints in just two months designed to provide simpler, more secure customer verification.
The Future of Secure, Mobile Authentication
Mobile devices have the potential to be the universal device to make authentication stronger. But a host of challenges stand in the way for mobile security platforms. What are the key enablers and how does voice fit into a comprehensive mobile security strategy? Validsoft’s Daniel Thornhill will discuss a “five-factor” approach to strong authentication for mobile commerce.
The Business Case for Passive, Voice Based Authentication
Companies are deploying passive voice authentication technology to overcome adoption barriers and garner financial and operational benefits that pave the way for bringing strong authentication beyond the contact center, to include interactive voice response (IVR) systems, websites and mobile apps. NICE Systems will outline the steps that companies can take to move ahead with passive authentication and provide a proposed roadmap from contact centers to support multiple customer and consumer touchpoints.
Next Generation Fraud Detection with Integrated Speech Technologies
Professor Levent Arslan, Founder and CEO, Sestek, will present how a multi-factor authentication system combines voice verification with speech recognition technologies and text-to-speech. Sestek names Avea, a leading GSM operator in Turkey with a customer base of 12.8 million, as a customer which has implemented a call center voice verification system registering more than one million vocal passwords in the first year.
Security and Easy Authentication in a Multi-Channel World
Nuance’s Brett Beranek will show to empower organizations to deploy cross-channel and multi-factor authentication while delivering positive user experiences, as his company currently supports more than 8 billion customer care interactions around the world.
VBC London early-bird registration rate (£499.00) ends September 13. And be sure to book your room by September 20 at the Grosvenor House at a very special rate (£299.00 + taxes). We encourage you to make your hotel reservation as early as possible, as London is hosting multiple citywide events in November, and hotel rooms are expected to be scarce.
BNZ, one of New Zealand’s largest banks, announced this week the introduction of voice authentication technology to allow customers to access their bank accounts. BNZ is the first New Zealand bank to deploy voice biometric technology, primarily used as a means to reduce fraud and save the hassle of asking customers to remember passwords or security questions.
According to news reports about the deployment, the implementation of voice biometrics and advanced speech technology is part of a dedicated strategy by BNZ to enhance customer experience. “Open speech navigation and voice biometrics will enable us to know who our customers are, what they are calling about and deliver them to the right area and staff member to resolve their enquiry the first time,” said Melissa Cadman, head of contact centers with BNZ, as part of the announcement.
BNZ is a subsidiary of National Australia Bank (NAB) and employs over 5000 people. For its part, NAB has been long been a pioneer with voice biometrics technology, first launching a customer-facing service in 2009. Today, more than 140,000 NAB customers are using voice recognition for phone banking.
BNZ’s new voice security service for retail banking will be introduced in October to all BNZ call centers.
A new service, called xFA(TM), from Authentify provides a glimpse of multifactor authentication’s future. Building on the company’s legacy of certificate-based, out-of-band, phone-based user authentication, the company is employing a new, screen-based approach to replacing OTP (one-time passwords) or KBA (knowledge-based authentication) in order to log-on to a secure network.
The innovation is a cryptograph, that looks something like the QR codes that appear on billboards, magazine ads or business cards, which Authentify calls an “A-Code.” These codes are designed to be scanned by smartphones running xFA-enabled mobile apps. For example, a registered employee attempting to log on to a company’s intranet or a commercial bank’s online customer will be prompted to scan the A-code and speak a passphrase in order to receive the digital certificate required to establish a link between the computer and the company’s secure database or Web site.
Click on the video below to see how it works:
Like the one-time-password or code that is provided by a service like RSA’s SecureID or Safenet, the A-code has a short shelf-life and expires within minutes. The addition of voice biometrics to the mix is a major part of identity verification because, without a biometric, the company can never be sure that the individual in possession of the phone is, indeed, the person who is supposed to be logging on to the system.
Authentify is one of the longest-standing providers of “out-of-band” authentication technologies. It has long had the ability to incorporate voice biometrics into the mix but, like its direct rival PhoneFactor (which is now a business unit of Microsoft) and others, it has found that customers and prospects have been satisfied with text-based OTP codes. By marketing xFA, Authentify recognizes that smartphones with cameras are destined to be important building blocks for strong, multi-layered and multifactor authentication. It also signals that its prospects and customers now recognize how they must step up to stronger user authentication in order to support BYOD (bring your own device) and work-anywhere strategies.
According to descriptions in press reports, enrollment in xAD is simple and takes a few minutes. Users download a mobile app from Google Play or, soon, the iTunes Store. Once the app is installed they will be prompted to repeat a passphrase a few times in order to create a voiceprint which is stored by Authentify on behalf of the participating company. When users attempt to log on to a secure Web site, Authentify delivers a unique, ephemeral A-Code that appears on the Web site. Users are prompted to scan the A-Code and thenspeak their passphrase. They are not admitted until the company has confidence that the A-Code and utterance matches what is expected. Then the certificate is issued by Authentify and a secure link is established.
Clearly there is a lot going on, but it is relatively easy for the individual user or customer and it satisfies corporate requirements for secure communications links and strong user authentication. Smartphones are becoming the “something you have” and, given that, your voice equates to “something you are.”
This era of self-service, cloud computing and Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) has significantly accelerated the occurrence of fraudulent access, data breaches and identity theft. Hackers and fraudsters have more avenues of ingress to steal credentials and have their way with enterprise networks and data. Voice and multi-factor authentication offer an effective alternative to the prevailing, often ineffective methods and practices.
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Building on the investment of technologies and intellectual property gained through the acquisitions of PerSay and Loquendo, Nuance has unveiled a newly updated voice biometrics platform for customer authentication services.
The new, integrated platform includes marked improvement in voice biometric engine accuracy, upwards to 50% improvement, says the company. In addition, the platform features greater use of liveness detection — which is key in preventing playback attacks — offers automated enrollment of suspected fraudsters, and the ability to enhance the quality of voiceprints.
The updated features are intended to improve the user experience, bolster fraud detection, and “create efficiencies with unified products on a single platform,” said Brett Beranak, Solutions Marketing Manager with Nuance, in an interview with Opus Research.
Nuance names Barclays, Turkcell, T-Mobile and Vanguard as notable clients who have implemented varying degrees of voice authentication solutions in call centers for account access and fraud detections. As well, Nuance now offers FastReset, an out-of-the-box solution for password reset applications for enterprise customers, naming Boston, MA-based Eastern Bank as a customer.
To show the ease-of-use potential for voice biometric applications, Nuance also produced this light-hearted bit on ways to improve the customer experience:
A growing sentiment that passwords are passé and easily compromised is fueling a wave of new methods for user authentication, both online and on mobile phones. The latest announcement comes from Authentify in the introduction of a password replacement app that builds security into mobile phones.
Called Authentify xFA, the mobile app supports voice biometrics and uses the phone itself into as a method for authentication. Rather than entering a password for account access, the xFA app scans an on-screen image to activate a digital certificate for strong authentication. The service can be combined with a voiceprint — hence the name xFA stands of “x” factors of authentication — and delivers server-to-server endpoint security.
In the announcement, Authentify says “xFA provides greater protection to financial services, e-commerce, medical insurance firms or any enterprise/SMB private networks from password exploits or breaches without losing productivity or inconveniencing users.”
The xFA app is now downloadable from Apple and Android app stores.
A trio of companies have jointly announced the launch of a new home automation technology that personalizes the way users interact and control devices, including TVs, home entertainment and security systems, or thermostats.
Developed by GEO Semiconductor, SpeechFX and VoiceVault, the system known as Granta embeds algorithms on home automation devices to enable voice detection, voice biometric security, and gesture video analytics. The technology allows the use of hand gestures or voice commands to turn on the lights, disarm an alarm, or unlock doors.
Unveiled at last month’s Voice Biometrics Conference in San Francisco, the companies said the technology is initially targeted at the home security, smart TV and entertainment markets.
“Voice enabled applications, powered on ARM cores, with voice verification is a compelling solution for a wide reach of commercial and user devices,” said Roger Dudley, CEO of SpeechFX, Inc in the announcement. “Home security and smart devices provides a ready-built market to expand these combined technologies.”
Voice biometrics are a natural for mobile phones, but may not always achieve the level of accuracy that some banks or payment processors require to carry out certain transactions. Front-facing cameras provide a mechanism for adding facial to voice recognition to provide high confidence rates for identifying or authenticating individuals to support mobile commerce.
Join Dan Miller, Senior Analyst at Opus Research, and Bryan Chaney, Vice President of SpeechPro, in this free webinar as they discuss the challenges of speaker identification and verification over mobile phones, culminating with a demonstration of OnePass, an authentication technology that combines the unique attributes of the mobile subscribers voice with facial recognition to deliver simple, strong mobile authentication.
What you’ll learn:
- How strong authentication fights fraud, promotes personalization and leads to customer loyalty
- What makes biometric-based authentication better
- How easy it is to combine voice and facial recognition
- Where and how to get started
Who should attend:
- Mobile marketing customer experience specialists
- IT support pros for remote workforce and BYOD
- Service strategists for finance, retail, travel, insurance
- Security and access control experts
- …and anyone with an interest in creating the most personalized and secure e-commerce services.
Tuesday, June 25, 2013 — 1 p.m. EST / 10 a.m. PST
Register at BrightTalk or Sign Up Below to join the Webcast
While customers today interact with enterprises and service providers in all manner of communication — online, text messaging, IM, social media — the traditional phone channel continues to be a preferred path for many fraudsters. In targeting call centers, a fraudster has the potential to reap financial havoc in gaining access to accounts simply by confiscating conventional information used for caller authentication: passwords, mother’s maiden name, last four digits of social security number, etc.
Atlanta-based startup Pindrop Security has developed fraud prevention software for enterprise call centers to track several key features in a phone call and help identify potential fraudsters by checking against a growing database of phone fraud cases.
Today the company announced the close of a $11M round in Series A investment, led by Andreessen Horowitz and Citi Ventures. Thus far the company has raised a total of $12 million in venture funding., including new investors Redpoint Ventures and Felicis Ventures.
As part of the announcement, Scott Weiss, general partner at Andreessen Horowitz, will join the board of directors. He explained his interest in funding Pindrop Security:
[This is] a very unique technology with virtually all the intellectual property invented by the founder … As much as we talk about data overtaking voice — every customer we talk to has seen voice calls increase linearly with customers. And voice is becoming even more of an attractive alternative for fraudsters as the online channel is maturing and becoming more secure.
According to Pindrop CEO Vijay Balasubramaniyan, who spoke at VBC-San Francisco in May of this year, there is growing demand for voice security technologies to combat phone-based fraud. He sees the additional funding as a way to meet market demand and enter new global regions: “The funding will allow us to accelerate our growth … adding skilled developers, support staff and make additional investments in marketing, sales and business development.”
Following a keynote presentation at last month’s Voice Biometric Conference San Francisco, global wealth management firm Barclays sure has received a fair share of media attention.
Barclays’ deployment of passive voice verification in telephone banking as a means to replace passwords and knowledge-based authentication in customer care has been featured in articles at The Wall Street Journal and American Banker.
Not to be outdone, BBC Radio recently interviewed Matt Smallman, head of customer experience, strategy and change at Barclays Wealth & Investment Management, about bank security and advanced voice recognition. More information about the company’s voice biometrics deployment and Smallman’s interview — including some challenging questions by the interviewer about the validity of voice recognition technology — can be heard beginning around the 44-minute mark in this on-demand episode on “You & Yours” on BBC Radio.