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Free GSMA service widens voice biometrics availability for customer authentication

smartphone biometric identity and document verification

Telecom industry organization GSMA is developing a multimodal solution to address the challenge of biometric authentication in low tech environments and emerging markets. The solution B4LL (for ‘Biometrics for All’) is intended to enable digital service providers to test different biometric solutions for multiple use cases.

Initially, B4LL will focus on using voice recognition in authenticating identities, because it does not require any additional hardware, and can be used on basic handsets where smartphones are not available or widely used. The solution will allow for registration using voice, navigation and execution of commands, and biometric identification through an IVR call center.

GSMA also runs a Digital Identity Programme, working with “mobile operators, governments and the development community to demonstrate the opportunities, address the barriers and highlight the value of mobile as an enabler of digital identification.” The program has produced “Reimagining identity ecosystems in Sub-Saharan Africa with mobile”, a report into the identity and registration systems and challenges to digital ID schemes in four countries.

Mobile devices are becoming more multi-purpose, outside of social life, in developing countries, the report says. Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) are expanding interests in biometric authentication services in Benin, Ghana, Kenya and Uganda, and a growing number of African governments are enforcing SIM registration for mobile phones. B4LL use-cases include paying utility bills via mobile phone, as well as alert simulating via voice recognition.

Other biometric modalities like facial and fingerprint recognition are in the works to be made available via a mobile app, to ultimately create a free facility which will be used by digital service providers to test biometric authentication for multiple use cases.

No real customer data will be used for the test runs of the project, GSMA notes. The app is expected to become available soon for iOS and Android devices.

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