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ATO integrates Nuance voice biometrics technology into its mobile app

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has expanded its voice authentication program across its suite of online services by integrating Nuance Communication’s voice biometrics technology into the ATO mobile app.

Last year, the ATO introduced the voice authentication system for taxpayers calling its contact center, for which over 1.5 million people have already enrolled a voiceprint.

Taxpayers who want to use their voice to authenticate their identity only need to enroll in the program once, as their unique voiceprint is authenticated when they engage with the ATO via the contact center and likewise when they are authenticated within the ATO mobile app.

ATO assistant commissioner John Dardo commented that “feedback has shown an overwhelming acceptance of voice biometrics in the call center, making it a natural next step to bring this ease of access to the mobile app.”

Response from taxpayers indicates that the contact center experience has improved, with repeat callers experiencing a 40-45 second reduction in the average time that they are on the phone with an agent.

The ATO receives approximately 7.2 million calls per year and prior to implementing Nuance’s voice biometrics around 76 per cent of these calls required an ATO agent to verify the caller’s identity, at a cost of 75,000 hours of agents’ and customers’ time each year.

“The ATO’s commitment to delivering an authentication process that is faster and smoother across channels shows they are putting their clients first by offering a more compelling and effective experience,” remarked Robert Schwarz, Nuance Managing Director for Enterprise, Australia and New Zealand.

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