Experian deploys military-style biometric voice checks to save staff time

A service that uses biometrics to verify the identity of people calling contact centres by identifying their voice

A service that uses biometrics to verify the identity of people calling contact centres by identifying their voice aims to reduce the time that call centre staff take to process requests.

Credit agency Experian has introduced the service, known as VoiceCheck, in partnership with biometric identity firm VoiceVault.

The technology was originally developed by the US military, and was later used to track criminals by US authorities.

John Colgan, head of business development at VoiceVault, said the supplier took over the technology about four years ago and built applications around it such as caller authentication.

The company is targeting the hosted service, which is paid for per use, at companies that are highly dependent on contact centres. It is in talks with firms in financial services and retail about integrating the technology.

"By replacing the time-consuming manual verification process with a fully automated system, contact centre agents will be presented with a validated identity at the start of a call, and can dedicate a greater proportion of their time to assisting callers," said Experian.

When a new customer registers, the system records their voice and stores a voice print on Experian's databases. The system aims to avoid the need for time-consuming verification such as asking numerous questions to confirm a caller's identity.

"Contact centre agent talk time can be reduced by about 30 seconds per call, resulting in a reduction in the costs associated with verifying the identity of callers by up to 75%," said Jim Lound, director of trust services at Experian.

The technology measures more than 130 characteristics of an individual's voice and is able to detect the use of a voice recording.

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