How Do Consumers Feel about Voice Biometric Authentication?

Voice biometric authentication trends are showing a positive overall response from consumers. Other types of biometric verification have become commonplace in today’s increasingly digital world. It’s no surprise that call centers and other voice channels are the next major area for adoption of this technology. According to recent research, consumers are eager to accept voice authentication as a convenient and secure way to access their accounts.

Customer Service rep using voice biometric authentication
Voice Biometric Authentication Is Increasingly Common in Call Center Environments

What Is Voice Biometrics Authentication?

Biometric voice authentication uses a voiceprint or AudioPrint™ of an individual’s voice as a highly secure and accurate method for verifying that person’s identity. Since each voice is as unique as a fingerprint, no two people sound exactly alike. Voice biometric authentication software can determine with an extremely high level of accuracy whether a person’s voice matches the exact characteristics of an existing sample, making it a powerful tool for call center fraud prevention

Are Consumers Really Ready to Embrace Voice Authentication?

In the “Authentication Frustration” white paper co-authored by the CMO Council, researchers found that 90% of consumers would consider using biometrics to ease the authentication process. That’s not surprising, since 61% of consumers report abandoning transactions due to difficulties with authentication. 

A 2022 Aite-Novarica study on call flow and authentication found that fewer consumers were open to the idea of new types of authentication. However, the researchers noted that this may be due to lack of familiarity with other methods. 

“Often, after consumers are introduced to new authentication capabilities, they tend to adopt them in great numbers, particularly when the introduced technology is easy to use and improves their lives. Good examples of this are the introduction of fingerprinting, facial recognition, and iris scanning on mobile phones, in which consumers realized how simple it is to authenticate vs. the use of passcodes. Companies that adopt new, proven technologies that simplify the customer experience can leap ahead of their competition and improve customer loyalty.” 

What We’ve Seen…

Passive voice biometric authentication is well received since enrollment can occur during conversation rather than requiring a separate call or a verbal passphrase to be repeated. With the credit unions that deploy Illuma Shield™, this has proven to be the case, with more than 90% of members happily enrolling in voice verification when offered the option. 

The Desire for Fast and Friendly Identity Verification Is High

Frictionless authentication is something most consumers agree is important. The recent CMO Council Authentication Frustration report found that 81% of customers prefer to do business with companies that make the identity verification process easy and secure. More than half reported that a difficult authentication process had a major or significant negative impact on their experience. 

The same survey found that 90% of consumers were enthusiastic about biometric authentication, especially if they understood how it works and were assured that biometrics provides better security. This highlights the need for ongoing education about how and why a voice biometric authentication system helps keep fraudsters out.

In Our Experience…

Members of credit unions are happy to adopt a new verification method if they understand how it benefits them in saving time and how it makes their account more secure.  Besides the ease of use, there is another reason credit unions implementing Illuma Shield™ have extremely high user adoption rates. As part of pilot deployment, our credit union clients take the time to train their contact center teams on how to quickly and effectively communicate about voice biometric authentication when onboarding members. This leads to an easy “yes” with no confusion or hesitation.

Seamless Authentication Improves Net Promoter Scores

In July of 2022, Aite-Novarica Group published findings in “The Call Center Experience: Improving Call Flow and Authentication.” In terms of customer satisfaction, they found that the highest Net Promoter Scores were associated with being authenticated quickly and efficiently either through the IVR or after reaching an agent. The 2022 State of Omni-channel Authentication Survey from Neustar found similar results. “Over two-thirds (70%) of respondents prefer to complete authentication pre-answer or while a caller engages with an interactive voice response (IVR) system.” 

In both studies, the most satisfactory method was identity verification that occurred in the IVR or prior to speaking with an agent. This is an indication that a frictionless experience for self-service has a particularly high impact on how consumers view the authentication process. We expect the credit unions we serve to see a similar positive impact with our latest IVR caller authentication integration using voice verification. 

Financial Institutions Can’t Ignore Issues with Outdated Authentication Methods

According to Forrester’s report “Mitigate Fraud and Customer Friction with Integrated IDV”, 62% of firms surveyed revealed that low customer satisfaction and poor user experience were ongoing challenges related to complicated authentication processes. Unfortunately, friction-filled authentication methods are also prone to account takeovers. Half of the firms surveyed said they are challenged by a high number of false accepts, where the wrong person may gain access to a consumer’s account. 

“Clearly, fraud decision makers have yet to connect the dots that overconfidence in outdated methods is leading to both poor security and poor customer experience. For example, common forms of KBA increase consumer friction by requiring customers to answer questions they can no longer remember answers to or have to spend time tracking down.”

False negatives and false positives are both common challenges with knowledge based authentication (KBA). It is sometimes easier for a well-prepared fraudster to access a consumer’s account than for the actual account holder to remember or find answers to questions related to personal information from years or decades in the past. Voice authentication is a highly effective solution for this pervasive problem.

Is a biometric voice authentication system the right next step for your contact center? 

For voice biometric authentication, call center environments are an ideal testing ground for a better way to verify callers, making it almost impossible for account takeover attempts to succeed. Contact our team for a demo and learn what it takes to deploy a frictionless authentication experience with voice biometrics.