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Preventing Financial Fraud Through Voice Biometrics

In the internet age, loss of personal credentials through security breaches (such as the Target Data Breach in 2013) has become a common occurrence. This places individuals and financial institutions at an elevated risk of fraudulent activity.However, some of this activity may be stopped in its tracks by employing additional voice biometrics system to enhance security. Consider that case when a user calls the wire transfer line to request a wire. The user presents some “secret” information and then is able to complete the transaction. However, under this setup, the secret information could easily be stolen and then used against the account owner.

However, if the bank deploys a voice biometric system, not only will the credentials of the user be stored in the system’s database, also a small biometric key of the user that will be less than a kilobyte in size, shall contain the voiceprint of the user. Every time the user calls for a transaction, his voice shall be analyzed and a match will be created to tell if it is the same user. If an imposter makes the call, the system will clearly warn the bank agent to increase the security level and use stricter authentication methods.

There are several features of modern voice biometric systems that make such a system not a dream of the future, but a real implementation that is in the process of happening.

Firstly, voiceprints are small and it takes less than a kilobyte to store the voiceprint. It can be added to the same database that stores the passwords and other identifying information of the user, without much bloat in database size.

Secondly, the process of computing the match is extremely fast. A ten second of conversation at the start of the call may take just a fraction of a second to compare with the stored voiceprint and tell if it is a likely match.

Third, there used to be a time when the same speaker will be easily rejected if they use a different handset to make the call or if the telephone channel is facing issues. However recent advances in voice biometrics have significantly reduced the impact of such factors while maintaining the inter-speaker variability.

Financial institutions are already required to record conversations with their clients and store them for a certain period of time. If an institution determines to enhance their level of security through a voice biometrics system, these stored recordings could be used to enroll the voiceprints of all of their existing users. There will be no change to the user experience, though the call center agents will have an additional authentication metric available to them that allows the institution an additional layer of security without compromising convenience.

So, take advantage of the voice biometrics technology for speaker verification to enhance data security for your business and more importantly to enhance customer engagement and satisfaction.