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Vodacom Tanzania introduces voice biometrics for access to services

Voice recognition intended to improve accessibility


Vodacom Tanzania, a subsidiary of South Africa’s Vodacom Group, has announced the unveiling of a biometric identity verification feature which it says will enable especially people with disabilities to easily access its products and services.

Known as SautiPass, the new biometric feature can enable customers such as the visually impaired and those with mobility difficulties secure a PUK, have access to their M-Pesa accounts, get M-Pesa PINs, or change their lines, among other uses, ITWeb reports.

At the launch of the service recently in the Tanzanian capital Dar es Salaam, Vodacom’s Customer Service Director Harriet Lwakatare highlighted the importance of the two-step biometric authentication platform, outlining its use cases.

“SautiPass will be used as part of a two-step authentication process when accessing Vodacom products and services. Customers can now enjoy the security and convenience of self service for critical services such as access to PUK number or M-Pesa PIN, SIM Replacement, Unlocking M-PESA account, Bar/Unbar lines and much more using their voice as their password. This will not only increase efficiency in our customer service but also enhance customer security,” ITWeb quoted Lwakatare as saying.

The official also explained that the biometric capability is part of the telco’s objective of using inclusive and emerging technologies to provide user-friendly products to their customers and make life easier especially for those with physical disabilities.

“Vodacom Customers do not have to call customer service and go through the verification question or carry their ID to a Vodashop to access sensitive services, as they will be readily available at a voice command,” she said.

The launch of SautiPass comes as Vodacom Tanzania says it has also partnered with Mdundo.com, an online music streaming platform.

Telecom operators in Tanzania including Vodacom have participated significantly in building up the country’s national digital ID system, after overhauling their own customer verification processes.

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