Can you hear me now? Benefits of voice biometrics in business

With hackers making plenty of headlines within today’s technology sector, it may seem like computers and smartphones are the true culprits of viruses and identity fraud. But that’s not telling you the complete story.

In particular, an estimated 30 percent to 50 percent of fraud-related activities begin with answering calls from unknown phone numbers, according to Interactions. This puts industries that receive a high volume of phone calls, including telecommunications, health care, government and insurance, at high risk.

While it may seem like the number of fraudulent activities are happening more disproportionately, the technology to prevent these attacks from taking place has also improved. Encryption, two-step authentication and voice biometrics are becoming more mainstream and helping both individuals and businesses keep their information safe.

In fact, voice biometrics is just one piece of technology that has vastly improved in recent years — and businesses are starting to use it more and more. Here are several benefits of using voice biometrics in business:

How it Started

Voice biometrics has been around since the 1970s, but the technology hasn’t always been reliable or useful. In fact, during its outset, biometric machines recognized just 10 percent of all voice commands, according to Real Business. If you took into account background noise, mumbling and other variables, voice recognition was almost impossible to use more than four decades ago.

Fortunately, the technology has drastically improved. By 2010, biometric machines were able to recognize 70 percent of all voice commands; today, that figure stands at 90 percent — quite a drastic improvement. As voice biometrics have improved, the technology has also been rolled out into more industries, as can be seen by the rise of virtual assistants, like Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa, and cloud contact centers for customer service.

Current Successes

One of the primary ways businesses currently use voice biometrics is to authenticate people’s identity. If customers call a business to receive account information, make an over-the-phone payment, or dispute an unknown charge, they can verify their identity by providing a few, simple voice commands.

This means businesses can do away with asking security questions that most customers forget or which can be compromised. Cloud contact centers are a great example of using voice biometrics in business. For example, if customers call a business to rectify an issue, they don’t have to go through the laborious steps of verifying their identity. Instead, they can use their phone and voice as a two-step authentication process, without having to waste time answering personal questions.

In addition to making customer support and service calls more efficient and user-friendly, implementing voice biometric technology also makes them more secure. Case in point: Just like a fingerprint, everyone has a unique voice, making it more difficult for hackers to compromise or mimic.

Where it’s Going

Like anything tech-related, the future of voice biometrics largely depends on innovations coming down the pike. Even though everyone has a unique voice, this technology isn’t necessarily fool-proof for criminals to use to their advantage. In fact, there are a number of apps and audio systems that provide a means to impersonate virtually anyone. Thus, for voice biometrics to become a truly secure form of identification, engineers will need to fix any holes or flaws in their systems to prevent hacking.

Additionally, this technology will also need to be improved from the standpoints of not only cutting out background noise and static, but also recognize users’ aging and/or maturing voices. Businesses, including cloud contact centers, healthcare facilities and insurance carriers, need to find new, innovative ways to use the technology to improve their customer experience.

In the future, the less obtrusive voice biometrics technology is for the public, the more valuable it will be to business owners, as it will improve security, efficiency and their overall bottom line.

Graphic by OpenClipart / Descrier Images