Nuance releases best practices guide for voice biometrics

Sept. 3, 2008
'Succeeding with Voice Biometrics' seeks to help organizations deploy voice-based systems

London, 3 September, 2008 - Nuance Communications, Inc., a leading supplier of speech solutions, today announced "Succeeding with Voice Biometrics," a best-practice guide developed to help organizations both design and successfully deploy speaker verification solutions. To develop this comprehensive best-practice process, Nuance leveraged its experience with over 300 companies, including Standard Bank and AeroPlan, who have selected its solutions to implement secure customer service within banking, telco, government and enterprise organizations.

A motivating factor behind the support for more robust security for the voice channel, are the growing concerns about identity theft and fraud. According to KPMG Forensic's Fraud Barometer, over Ł630 million worth of fraud came to court across 128 cases in the first half of 2008, up from Ł421 million in 91 cases during the previous six month period. Banks were the main victims, accounting for over half - Ł350 million - of fraud to go to court. KPMG says this is more than the total for any previous entire year of the 20 year history of its Fraud Barometer.

>From a business technology integration perspective, speaker verification is a more attractive option than finger print or iris scan-based solutions; as many companies already use speech technology in their customer contact centers, integrating biometric technology to work in conjunction with the existing legacy application requires less financial and development investment. From a customer perspective, the only device they need to use to access a speaker verification system is their voice.

According to a recent survey commissioned by Nuance, there is already a high acceptance among consumers for biometrics. The survey results revealed that 73% of UK consumers would be likely/somewhat likely to use a speaker verification service for accessing their accounts, while 83% believe speaker verification technology provides at least a somewhat secure method to protect account access when using the voice channel.

Designed to help organizations educate their customers about the benefits of voice biometric technology - and thus ensuring it is positively received by a well-informed customer base - the guide addresses:

* System Design - The guide explains in detail how to design the speaker verification system, and outlines the reasons for performing a security audit with stakeholders to determine business goals for the project, using feedback from business security, risk, fraud, customer service, and IT departments. In addition to identifying the goals and needs of callers, this feedback will then inform the design of the verification system, including security thresholds and back-off strategies.

* Marketing and Enrolment - The guide also outlines how to market the system post design, both internally and externally in advance of deployment. It details how to effectively pilot the system and use the results to establish true system performance, and set appropriate security thresholds.

* Post-launch - The guide's 360 degree approach to effective system deployment concludes with post-launch analysis. It provides recommendations to ensure that the system is delivering optimum performance, meeting set internal objectives, and satisfying the needs and expectations of customers.

Robert Weideman, Senior Vice President, EMEA Marketing for Nuance said: "With hundreds of organizations selecting Nuance speaker verification solutions, we are in the unique position of being able to provide our customers with the real-world lessons needed to assure success. By working with Nuance and following these pragmatic best practice guidelines, companies can avoid expensive pitfalls and deliver higher levels of service and security."

The free "Succeeding with Voice Biometrics" best practice guide is available for immediate download from Nuance.