Nuance Communications provides voice authentication software to ICICI Bank

Indian financial institution ICICI Bank has deployed voice recognition technology from Nuance Communications to provide biometric authentication for telephone banking customers to enable them to securely conduct a range of transactions over the phone, according to a report by The Times of India.

The service, which will be rolled out in the coming weeks, picks up a voice sample of the customer within 10 seconds of the call to identify their account details and authenticate his or her identity by comparing the voice sample against a database.

In the future, the system will be able to accurately analyze the voice data to identify customers even when they are agitated, irate or in a hurry.

Nuance Communications, which helped developed Apple’s Siri, uses about 100 parameters for matching sound samples, for which it will need a minimum of 35 seconds of voice during any conversation.

The voiceprint is comprised of a string of numbers and characters that represent how specific an individual’s voice rates on a host of characteristics being measured.

“The software uses 100 parameters for matching sound samples. To collect the sample, the servers need to record only 35 seconds of voice during any conversation,” said Rajiv Sabharwal, executive director of ICICI Bank. “Besides authentication, the software will help the bank in analytics as it will immediately inform the operator about the state of mind of the caller. If we were to use other biometrics like fingerprint or iris, we would need to deploy scanners. In the case of voice recognition, any call from a basic phone to the call centre is good enough. Since the voice samples and servers are in the call centre, there is no requirement for data connectivity.”

To ensure full security, ICICI Bank is enabling the voice recognition feature only on calls made from their customers’ registered phone.

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