Enhancing Banking Call Center Fraud Prevention with Voice Biometrics

Call center fraud prevention in the financial sector is a multi-layered effort to prevent account takeovers, hacking, and data breaches. Because the contact center involves human interaction, it is a prime target for fraudsters who use methods like social engineering paired with stolen data to try to fake their way into end user accounts. To help mitigate these risks, banking contact centers employ a variety of fraud prevention methods to secure customer/member information and financial transactions.

Call Center Fraud Reduction Methods Include the Following:

Caller Authentication for Fraud Prevention

These security measures are used during live interactions between agents and callers to verify identity and proactively combat fraudulent activities such as account takeovers. Many financial institutions use multi-factor authentication (MFA) that combines two or more of the methods listed below.

  • Knowledge Based Authentication (KBA): Account holders answer security questions based on their account information or personal history.
  • PINs: Account holders must enter their personal identification number (PIN) to access their account information or make a transaction. 
  • One-time Passcodes (OTPs): This information is sent to the caller’s phone or email to be used to verify identity on a single call and then expires and can’t be used again.
  • Voice Biometrics: Uses voice recognition technology to authenticate callers based on unique voice characteristics.
  • Caller ID and Phone Number Verification: Verifies that the incoming call is from a registered phone number associated with the customer or member’s account.

If a caller’s identity can’t be satisfactorily verified, they may be subject to additional screening. Failure to complete authentication means they will not be able to proceed with a transaction.

Fraud Detection Measures for Banking

These security measures are aimed at detecting potential fraud. They require additional action to prevent fraud from taking place or to address it after the fact.

  • Call Pattern Analysis: Monitors calling patterns for unusual behavior, such as calls from unexpected locations or at odd times.
  • Real-Time Transaction Monitoring: Tracks and flags suspicious activities or transactions during the call.
  • Rule-Based Systems: Apply predefined rules to flag potentially fraudulent activities.
  • AI and Machine Learning: Uses algorithms to detect anomalies and potential fraud by analyzing large datasets of caller interactions and transaction history.
  • Screen and Call Recording: Records interactions for auditing and fraud detection purposes.

Education, Collaboration, and Compliance

These security measures are designed to prevent fraud through better awareness, training, and standardized practices.

  • Employee Training Programs: Educates employees on the latest fraud tactics and how to recognize and handle suspicious activities.
  • Scripts and Guidelines: Provides agents with specific protocols to follow when dealing with high-risk transactions or suspicious callers.
  • Member/Customer Education: Informs account holders about common fraud schemes and encourages them to report suspicious activities.
  • External Reporting: Cooperation with external agencies and other banks to share information about new fraud trends and techniques.
  • Periodic Audits and Compliance Checks: Regularly review and update security protocols to comply with industry standards and regulations.

Prevention through Controls, Cybersecurity, and Compliance

These security measures help reduce the risk of fraud by limiting access to account holder information and the financial institution’s technology platforms.

  • Strict Access Controls: Ensures that only authorized personnel can access sensitive account holder information.
  • Data Encryption: Ensures that all data transmitted during calls is encrypted to protect against eavesdropping.
  • Secure Networks: Uses secure and monitored network connections to prevent unauthorized access.

Which Fraud Prevention Measures Are Most Effective?

Banking call centers aim to create a multi-layered defense against fraud, protecting both the institution and account holders from financial losses and data breaches. However, not all of these methods are equally effective for real-time fraud prevention. For example, knowledge based authentication (security Q&A) is notorious for being easy to defeat. Other tactics, like call recording, are better at detecting fraud after the fact rather than preventing it from occurring in the moment. What is one of the best ways to stop fraud during a call?

Passive Voice Biometrics Offers Real-Time Contact Center Fraud Protection

What makes a voice verification system an attractive addition to the tech stack protecting member and customer accounts? It relies on the creation of a unique voiceprint based on the individual attributes of a caller’s voice. After enrollment, the caller’s voice on subsequent calls is compared to the stored voiceprint to verify the individual’s identity in real-time. Because each person’s voice is distinct and difficult to replicate accurately, voice biometrics offers a high level of security.

Passive voice biometrics is a technology that authenticates individuals without requiring any specific action from the user. Unlike active voice biometrics, where the user must repeat a specific phrase or set of words, passive biometrics works in the background, analyzing the caller’s vocal characteristics during the natural flow of conversation. The result is a frictionless experience.

Benefits of Passive Voice Biometrics in Call Centers

  1. Enhanced Security: Passive voice biometrics provides robust security without disrupting the caller experience. Fraudsters often rely on stolen information to bypass traditional security measures, but replicating someone’s unique voice characteristics with the accuracy required to fool a voice authentication system is challenging. This makes it much harder for unauthorized individuals to gain access to sensitive information.
  2. Improved Caller Experience: Traditional verification methods can be cumbersome and time-consuming, leading to frustration for callers and agents. Passive voice biometrics streamlines the verification process, allowing callers to be authenticated as they interact naturally with the contact center agent. This not only reduces call handling times but also enhances overall satisfaction.
  3. Operating Efficiency: Implementing passive voice biometrics can lead to significant cost savings for banking call centers. By reducing the time spent on verification (and the financial impact of fraudulent activity), organizations can operate more efficiently and allocate resources to other critical areas.

Is Voice Biometrics on Your Digital Transformation Roadmap?

Voice authentication software from Illuma is well within reach for most banking contact centers that have even a modest budget for FinTech solutions. Choosing the right partner for the size of your financial institution is important. Here are a few areas for due diligence during the vendor selection process.

What to Look for in Voice Verification Software

  • Accuracy and Reliability
  • System Security
  • Privacy Compliance 
  • Integration with Existing Systems
  • Ease of Use for Agents and Callers
  • Reduction in Verification Time
  • Effort Required for Deployment
  • Software Cost vs. FTE Hours Saved
  • Time to Realize ROI

As fraud threats are constantly evolving, passive voice biometrics offers a powerful tool for banking call centers to enhance security and improve caller experience. 

Want to explore this right-sized solution for your contact center? Contact our team today.