Voice biometrics offer benefits beyond security

December 8, 2015 - 

This is a guest post by Michael Boukadakis, the founder and CEO of Enacomm.

How many times do potential customers pick up or request forms and applications that end up in the recycling bin? It’s an unproductive scenario that plays out again and again with consumers across the board, adding up to huge costs and lost opportunities for businesses. When it comes to customer enrollments, redefining the “path of least resistance” is key to delivering the convenience that consumers want and the cost savings that businesses need.

Fortunately, voice biometrics technology is reinventing the customer sign-up process and providing new options for organizations of all sizes. A voice print is as unique to an individual as his or her face or fingerprints. By conducting sophisticated analysis of hundreds of voice characteristics, voice biometrics can accurately identify and authenticate a customer in real-time. Voice biometric authentication is a proven method of identification with a 99.99 percent success rate – more reliable than fingerprint scanning and facial recognition technologies. You may already know that voice authentication is used by government intelligence agencies worldwide, but did you realize that its advantages aren’t limited to security?

Convenience is one of the greatest benefits provided by voice authentication technology. The act of speaking is natural and easy for consumers – even when “on-the-go.” Case-in-point, in 2012, financial giant JP Morgan adopted VoiceVault’s voice biometric technology to secure access to its mobile app with voice authentication for logging in and for wire transfers.

The number of applications for voice biometrics is growing to meet the needs of organizations and the demands of consumers. Voice e-Signature technology, for example, is now enabling consumers to speak on the dotted line, eliminating the time-consuming and expensive collection of ink-based signatures. Research shows there is a 30 to 55 percent fallout rate when a paper process is used to obtain a signature versus a telephone or smart device. That dropout rate is reduced to 5 percent or less when Voice eSignature is utilized.

Voice eSignatures can be used with any phone or smart device-based process where a traditional handwritten signature would normally be entailed. Financial institutions, insurance companies, medical practices and other organizations often require a customer or patient signature acknowledging a legal disclaimer or even a sales transaction. No special hardware or software is needed, and Voice eSignatures can be easily incorporated into virtually any system or process. The technology improves the overall consumer experience by allowing companies to more efficiently serve customers, with easier enrollment and faster processing.

Recording a customer’s voice as their signature isn’t new. Old-fashioned voice recordings have been in use for decades to approve and sign contracts. However, traditional voice recordings can be altered. They are also difficult to store and maintain, and may degrade over time rendering useless in the event of legal actions. With voice print technology, a customer’s voice file and accompanying call recording can be stored for up to 10 years if needed for court proceedings or other legal challenges. This even extends to repudiation claims, as voice biometric evidence can be used to prove that the person making the claim did in fact voice sign the transaction in question. Voice eSignatures are considered legally-binding under the American Bar Association’s test for a legally-binding signature, US E-Sign Act, HIPAA / CMS, FDA 21 CFR 11 regulations, and EU Directive 1993/93/EC.

Obtaining customer signatures is a time-consuming, labor-intense and often frustrating process. Businesses and customers alike want to leave old-fashioned, cumbersome paper signature forms where they belong…in the past. Not only is pushing paper detrimental to your customers’ experience, causing costly attrition in the enrollment process, but it also adds up to significant dollars and cents.

Voice eSignature technology enables one-shot telephonic enrollments and significantly saves on printing and mailing costs. According to Thomson Reuters, a smaller firm with 500 clients may spend more than $28,000 per year managing paper. In fact, related administrative costs can be cut by up to 80 percent or more by using Voice eSignatures. Compared to the outdated process of mailing forms for customers to sign, then filing and managing them once returned, using voice biometric technology to collect signatures is highly efficient.

Too often customers are interested and on the road to signing up for an organization’s services, until a cumbersome authentication process causes them to pump the brakes. Rather than erecting roadblocks, Voice eSignature technology creates a direct route for the customer to enroll. When you reimagine the path of least resistance for your customers, it’s as easy as “just say the word,” thanks to voice biometrics.

DISCLAIMER: BiometricUpdate.com blogs are submitted content. The views expressed in this blog are that of the author, and don’t necessarily reflect the views of BiometricUpdate.com.

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About Mike Boukadakis

Michael Boukadakis is the founder and CEO of Enacomm, a provider of intelligent customer interactions and authentication technology. He can be reached at MikeB@enacomm.net.