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Voice Biometrics Conference Returns to Historic Fairmont San Francisco

2014 January 22

daf9b686f9b94201a5d253d1080691feOpus 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.

Announcing VBC San Francisco 2014 – Call for Speakers 

2014 January 13
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125x125VBC_SF__14-15_2014Opus 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 (

Or be sure to secure your spot as an attendee at the “early” early bird registration fee of $349 (ends February 1st).

AGNITiO Debuts a FIDO-ready™ Product at CES

2014 January 9

agnitio-logoDuring 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.

On Target: Identity Theft Twice As Costly for Americans than Property Theft

2013 December 19

CLA_Target_640x455This 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.

Email Derek Top and/or follow on Twitter

ValidSoft Joins FIDO Alliance, Bolstering Industry Effort to Eliminate Passwords

2013 December 4

Validsoft_200wValidSoft, 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.

Speech Analytics Firm Fonetic Targets Dodd-Frank Compliance, Adds Voice Biometrics

2013 November 21

Fonetic_logoOn 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.

How Voice Biometrics Prevents Fraud and Improves Customer Experience

2013 November 19

Earlier this month, Opus Research organized and produced Voice Biometrics Conference London 2013. This was the tenth VBC event hosted by Opus and featured case studies, industry experts, and technology providers showcasing the latest in strategies to prevent fraud with multi-factor authentication and improve the customer experience.

In this video below, produced by Nuance Communications, several of the VBC London speakers and attendees — including representatives from DBS, ING Bank, Vodafone, Australian National Tax Office, Aite Group and others — share their insights on the value proposition for voice biometrics and predict how future applications in multi-channel environments and mobile commerce will help drive adoption.

Voice Biometrics Conference 2013 – London

2013 November 12

Voice Biometrics Conference London – November 6-7, 2013

The Grosvenor House, a JW Marriott Hotel, London, U.K.

Agenda & Presentations

Last week in London, top analysts, industry experts, interested prospects and successful implementers met to hear keynote presentations and panel discussions on the business opportunities, strategies and applications, deployment options, and what’s next for voice biometrics. Hosted and produced by Opus Research.



Wednesday, November 6, 2013

1:30 PM – 1:45 PM
Secure, Simple & Personal: Voice Authentication – Opening remarks from Opus Research, taking stock of the past, present and future of voice biometric-based technology and markets.
Speaker: Dan Miller, Senior Analyst, Opus Research
View Presentation

1:45 PM – 2:10 PM
Survey Data: Mitigating Fraud and Consumer Acceptance of Voice Biometrics – How contact centres can improve security while reducing customer frustration and cutting time agents spend on authentication. Sabio presents exclusive survey consumer data about contact centre security concerns and the organizational and business opportunities for phone-based voice verification.
Speaker: Peter Galloway, Head of VSS Practice, Sabio
View Presentation

2:10 PM – 2:40 PM
How to Choose a Voice Biometrics Engine – Voice biometrics engine evaluations can be both complex and expensive, and many users lack the knowledge to perform them. This session reviews the necessary aspects, costs, and common mistakes made by customers in real life decisions. Costs can be avoided if trusted parties make periodical testing of commercial engines and publish the results, thus reducing decision complexity and providing improved reliability.
Speaker: Emilio Martinez,CEO, Agnitio
View Presentation

2:40 PM – 3:00 PM
Reality Check: Top 5 Global Bank Mobile App Deployment – In 2012, a U.S.-based bank deployed voice biometrics as one factor in a multi-factor authentication approach for app login and for countersigning money transfers. This presentation will walk through the evolution of this new voice biometric feature in the bank’s Android / iOS app from initial qualification, to launch and to globalization. The session discusses the ongoing requirements from Fraud, Product and Legal and the overall success metrics.
Speakers: Julia Webb, EVP, Sales & Marketing, VoiceVault
View Presentation

3:30 PM – 4:00 PM
Panel: Impact of Apple Touch ID – A Biometrics Turning Point? – Apple’s iPhone 5s enables owners to activate their smartphones and authorize purchases by touching the home key. This capability, called Touch ID, has kindled renewed interest in how and whether biometric authentication will have mass appeal. What are its strengths? What are the weaknesses? How will it scale? What might hold it back? We’re assembling a panel of industry experts – across banking, mobile, customer care and security – to tackle these topics.
Brendan Treacy, CEO, Vicorp
Jamie Cowper, Sr. Director, Business Development, Nok Nok Labs
Alexey Khitrov, Strategic Development Director, SpeechPro

4:00 PM – 4:30 PM
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?
Speaker: Daniel Thornhill, VALid® Product Manager, ValidSoft
View Presentation

4:30 PM – 5:00 PM
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. Since launching a voice biometrics system in July 2013 for its telephone banking program, known as DIALOG Live, Tatra Bank has created more than 40,000 voice samples in providing simpler, more secure customer verification.
Speaker: Michal Liday, Retail Head, Tatra Banka
View Presentation

Thursday, November 7, 2013

9:00 AM – 9:45 AM
Keynote: Powering Security and Easy Authentication in a Multi-Channel World – Security has high value and mitigates high risk in today’s expanding multi-perimeter world. Learn how organizations such as Bank Leumi have benefited from incorporating voice biometrics in their Identity & Verification process. Empowering organizations to deploy cross-channel and multi-factor authentication while delivering an incredibly positive user experience, voice biometrics is poised to become a key authentication tool within web and mobile just as it has within the IVR and call center space.
Speaker : Brett Beranek, Solution Marketing Manager, Nuance Communications
View Presentation

9:30 AM – 10:00 AM
Reality Check: Sentiment Plus Voice Authentication in Contact Centers – Your existing voice recording infrastructure and metadata can be used in the battle against fraud and to protect your contact center. NICE Systems will show you how existing call recording, call monitoring and analytic fabrics can be leveraged to build the voice prints that become the foundation for voice-based authentication and fraudster detection, as well as how to operationalize voice biometrics to achieve real business value and a compelling ROI.
Speaker: Elad Hoffman, Real Time Authentication Solution Manager, NICE Systems

10:00 AM – 10:30 AM
Next Generation Fraud Detection with Integrated Speech Technologies – Presenting a multi-factor authentication system which combines voice verification with speech recognition technologies and text-to-speech. The system strengthens vocal passwords by integrating security questions as an alternative to one-time passwords. Avea, a leading GSM operator in Turkey with a customer base of 12.8 million, has implemented a call center voice verification system by Sestek registering more than one million vocal passwords in the first year.
Speaker: Professor Levent Arslan, Founder and CEO, Sestek
View Presentation

11:00 AM – 11:45 PM
Financial Roundtable – TCommercial banks and brokerages are leaders in imaginative implementation of voice-based and multi-factor authentication for contact centers, online services and mobile. Hear from a panel of financial services executives as they share insights and lessons learned in evaluating alternatives, selecting solutions providers and preparing employees and customers for the roll-out of voice biometrics-based solutions.
Shirley Inscoe, Senior Analyst, Aite Group
View Presentation
Andrew Foote, Strategist, Wells Fargo
Greg Williamson, VP, Authentication Product Development, MasterCard

11:45 AM – 12:15 PM
Reality Check: The Power of a Black List, the Promise of a White List – Financial services companies are finding out that they can reduce fraud loss by quickly detecting imposters. But that is just the start of the story. Learn how the combination of multiple factors can lead to lower financial losses.
Steve Williams, Senior Director, Desktop & Process Analytics Practice, Verint
Mark Lazar, CEO, Victrio, Inc.

1:30 PM – 2:00 PM
Panel: Lightning Round – Exploiting Adjacent Opportunities – As e-commerce migrates increasingly to mobile and social networks, it fuels the need for strong, convenient authentication and access control. The opportunities for voice biometrics should be obvious. This panel will discuss where voice fits with Big Data, social networks, the cloud and other factors shaping the future of trusted communications and commerce.
Emmanuelle Filsjean, Global Head of Marketing, ValidSoft
Peter Hauser, CCO, VoiceTrust
John Dardo, Assistant Commissioner, Australian Taxation Office

2:00 PM – 2:30 PM
Identity & Authentication in a Post-Password World – Traditional approaches to verifying one’s identity through passwords, PINs, and plastic cards are fraught with usability and security flaws, increasing the need for alternatives. Digital money and identity expert David Birch presents a new world view of personal identity management and what role voice biometrics will play within the larger group of potential authentication approaches.
Speaker: David Birch, Director, Consult Hyperion
View Presentation

2:30 PM – 3:00 PM
Voice is Not Enough – How voice biometrics can be combined with other authentication factors to build trust.
Guy Cooper, CEO, Qivox
View Presentation

3:30 PM – 4:00 PM
Reality Check: e-Government Applications for Voice Authentication – A look into a government initiative to integrate voiceprints into a national ID database enabling qualified citizens to receive aid money, pensions or cast a vote in national elections with just a telephone call.
Speaker: Hermann Geupel, Managing Director, VoiceTrust
View Presentation

4:00 PM – 4:30 PM
Reality Check: The Case for Bimodal Authentication – Demonstrating a novel way to combine voice plus facial recognition to achieve very high levels of confidence when authenticating the identity of individuals carrying out personalized commerce, communications and collaboration.
Speaker: Bryan Chaney, VP Sales & Marketing, SpeechPro
View Presentation

4:30 PM – 5:00 PM
Executive Panel: Where We’re At and Where We’re Going – Voice biometrics has evolved from a technology to a set of solutions that span mobile commerce, home electronics and automotive marketplaces – in addition to e-commerce contact centers. Top voice biometric engine providers answer “what’s next?” for their products, companies, partners and customers, paying special attention to what it will take to make voice biometrics an integral part of platforms that promote secure, convenient, trusted commerce.
Almog Aley-raz, GM & VP Voice Biometrics and Security Solutions, Nuance
Vipul Vyas, VP, Client Development, Victrio+Verint
Tim Furnell, CTO, VoiceVault
Dan Miller, Senior Analyst, Opus Research (moderator)

Verint To Buy Victrio, Bring Risk-Based Fraud Reduction to Financial Institutions and Beyond

2013 October 30

Screen Shot 2013-10-29 at 4.03.49 PMVerint Systems Inc., a global leader in contact center monitoring, recording, analytics and “enterprise intelligence”, has agreed to acquire voice-based fraud prevention specialist Victrio. Financial terms were not disclosed. To this point, Victrio had marketed its solutions as an independent company often in conjunction with Verint’s rival, NICE Systems.

Victrio’s efforts have landed a set of marquee customers that include one of the largest commercial banks in the world and a leading issuer of payment cards. Based on months of real world results, Victrio’s clients are finding that voice-based fraud reduction has measurable impact on fraud loss. As Mark Lazar, Victrio’s CEO, explained, “We’ve brought the ‘data science’ into the mix and proven that our solutions can work at scale.”

That message was not lost on Verint and many of its existing customers. Nancy Treaster, SVP and General Manager of Strategic Operations at Verint, explained that Verint has been responding to RFPs from its existing enterprise customers with the Victrio’s solution. In many cases it offers a packaged solution that merges Verint-based portfolio of contact center software with Victrio’s services to bring a complete, risk-based fraud prevention solution.

As part of Verint, Victrio will see a large number of opportunities to augment Verint’s line of Actionable Intelligence® products and services for its global installed base. The ties with Verint also bring Victrio ready access to the call recordings that are the raw material for the database of voiceprints that are foundational to passive, predictive fraud detection. The respective sales teams will find themselves in front of new categories of decisionmakers, as well. Verint will find that its salespeople can take their message to top security and risk management executives who often pay short shrift to the problems that arise in contact centers; at the same time, Victrio will have a strong story to tell to the folks who want to limit their exposure to phone-based fraud without putting callers through time-consuming challenge-question-and-response rituals.

A silent winner in the acquisition is voice biometric engine provider Agnitio. It is the provider of the core voice biometric processing platform for Victrio’s solution. It also provides the speaker identification software that is a key component of Verint’s line of Security Intelligence solutions. Both Verint/Victrio and Agnitio will be present, as featured speakers and sponsors, at Voice Biometrics Conference-London (November 6-7).

VBC London 2013: Where the Voice Security Industry Meets

2013 October 20

8aff3d87ff45475b98f520150431af2bWith the theme, “Preventing Fraud and Promoting Trust,” next month’s Voice Biometric Conference London promises to showcase the ever-expanding set of deployed solutions and future opportunities for voice biometric technologies.

Voice technologies that support convenient authentication of customers in contact centers and promote secure communications through mobile devices are gaining impressive momentum just this year. Look no further than recent mainstream media coverage in the Wall Street Journal, BBC Radio, and MIT’s Technology Review.

Voice Biometrics Conference London (November 6-7) is an excellent place to hear from peers and industry executives sharing experiences in deploying voice biometrics. As part of the global Voice Biometrics Conference series hosted by Opus Research, industry leaders in customer care, fraud prevention, and mobile security strategies will be on hand representing all major verticals including retail banks & financial services, telecommunications, hosted service providers, insurance and identity management, government agencies, and mobile device and consumer electronics manufacturers.

Register here to secure your spot at Voice Biometrics Conference London; space is limited.