• August 22, 2008
  • By Leonard Klie Editor, Speech Technology and CRM magazines
  • FYI

Consumers Voice Their Banking Concerns

Article Featured Image

According to a survey released in early July, 61 percent of consumers are concerned about the security of PINs, passwords, and secret data when used to confirm their identities over the phone with a contact center agent, and 42 percent of people using telephone banking believe their banks don’t take enough security measures to prevent fraud or identity theft.

Results from the Consumer Attitudes to Voice Biometrics Survey send a clear message to banks that they need to be more proactive in their use of technology, as more than one-third of respondents would be inclined to move to an alternative bank if it offered a more secure service, such as voice biometrics, as an identity verification measure.

The research, conducted by the University of Ulster in the United Kingdom and sponsored by speech technology vendors Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories and SpeechStorm, involved 30-minute face-to-face interviews with banking customers. During those interviews, 41 percent of respondents revealed that they believe their personal information is more secure when using an automated system than speaking to a live agent. Eighty-six percent said they would be happier to use either voice biometrics (28 percent) or a blend of both voice biometrics and PIN/password (58 percent) measures for telephone banking identification and verification.

"Given the concerns that many bank customers have with the threat of identity fraud and the associated risks for their personal finances, it is imperative that banks should be encouraged to provide an effective and easy-to-use method for additional security," wrote University of Ulster professor Michael McTear, head of voice authentication research. "Voice authentication provides such a method. The customer is not required to enter complicated sequences of numbers and letters but simply answers a few questions in their normal voices. Voice biometrics is an effective and reliable technology for authenticating valid customers and, more importantly, for rejecting ‘imposters’ whose voice does not match the customer’s voiceprint."

Key findings from the survey are:
• 74 percent of respondents have been more careful about their personal information in the past 12 months compared with the previous 12 months;
• 42 percent of respondents are either not confident or not sure about their bank’s ability to prevent anyone from accessing their accounts;
• 79 percent would be willing to use voice biometrics in the future;
• 86 percent of respondents would be happier to use either voice biometrics (28 percent) or a blend of voice biometrics and password or PIN (58 percent) in identifying themselves for telephone banking transactions in the future;
• 72 percent would be happy to receive a call from a speech automated service using voice biometrics as an additional security method;
• 38 percent would be inclined to join a bank that offered voice biometric security, versus one that did not;
• More than a third (34 percent) said they would consider moving to an alternative bank if it offered a more secure service like voice biometrics; and
• 37 percent would even be happy to pay a small fee to a bank that is very proactive in securing their personal information.

SpeechTek Covers
for qualified subscribers
Subscribe Now Current Issue Past Issues