New Zealand tax department’s voice identification feature enrolls 1.4M users

New Zealand has managed to sign up 1.4 million Inland Revenue Department customers for Voice ID since it introduced the voice biometric identification feature more than three years ago.

The Voice ID feature has also managed to save the country more than 15,000 hours of phone time each year, said Minister Todd McClay.

“This cements New Zealand’s position as the country with the highest level of voice biometric enrolments per capita in the world, and is a big win in the battle to reduce red tape and compliance for New Zealanders,” said McClay.

Voice ID went live in January 2012, and as a result, 60-70 percent of customers who call IRD on any given day are now enrolled with it.

“Every customer who calls IRD using voice ID saves around 40 seconds per call, which equates to 15,000 hours each year customers don’t have to spend on the phone answering personal security questions to verify who they are,” said McClay.

Voice ID allows customers to perform a number of different functions, including automatically checking the balance and payment dates of their Inland Revenue accounts, receiving child support information, retrieving their IRD number, activating their online services account and resetting passwords, even if they call outside opening hours.

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