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Australian Taxation Office deploys Nuance voice authentication services in call center


Nuance Communications announced that the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has deployed voice biometrics solutions in ATO’s call center in an effort to build stronger customer relationships with taxpayers and improve authentication by replacing its previous security questioning system.

Having undergone a two-phase deployment of Nuance’s voice biometrics systems, ATO has become the first organization in Australia to deploy voice biometrics in this manner.

Approximately 75 percent of the nine million calls ATO receives each year from the community requires an ATO agent to verify the caller’s identity, which amounts to a total of 75,000 hours spent just verifying customers.

The previous multi-step authentication process put pressure on customers to provide personal details or ensure that they had the correct documentation in front of them, as well as on ATO call center agents.

ATO decided to resolve this issue by deploying Nuance’s voice biometrics solution, in partnership with its existing managed network services provider, Optus.

The ATO completed its first installation of Nuance’s VocalPassword solution in September 2014, which enables customers to say a simple passphrase to verify their account.

ATO completed its second phase of deployment in April 2015 by implementing Nuance’s FreeSpeech solution, which verifies customers during inbound and outbound calls without intrusive questioning.

The combined solution of VocalPassword and FreeSpeech provides an added layer of security for ATO customers, helping to prevent and detect identity theft.

The streamlined approach has enabled ATO to increase call completion rates, while improving security for customers using the contact center.

Between September 2014 and mid July 2015, more than 760,000 Australians have enrolled for the voice biometrics solution.

Early customer feedback suggests that the contact center experience has significantly improved, with repeat callers experiencing a 40-45 second reduction in the average time that they are on the phone with an agent.

Additionally, there have been over 480,000 successful VocalPassword verifications and over 104,000 successful FreeSpeech verifications upon the Australian public’s use of the system.

“All organizations are competing to provide new and engaging customer service experiences that are simple and secure,” said Robert Weideman, executive vice president and general manager for Nuance’s enterprise division. “The customer experience is at the core of Nuance’s voice biometrics technology, a premise which aligns perfectly with the ATO’s organizational goals. Using Nuance’s voice biometrics solutions, the ATO has been able to greatly improve its customer service experience, while reducing costs and delivering an authentication process that eases the burden on both customers and service agents.”

Previously reported, Eastern Bank deployed Nuance’s FreeSpeech voice biometrics authentication solution to enable customers to securely login to their accounts using their voice.

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