Call Center Report Advocates for Use of Biometrics in Identity Verification

LONDON -- New research from contact center analyst firm ContactBabel found that of the 43 billion calls that U.S. contact centers will receive in 2007, contact center agents will ask identity verification questions at the beginning of 41 percent of those calls. Although this process only takes 20-30 seconds to complete, the U.S. contact center industry will spend $11.7 billion and more than 11,000 years of contact center agents' time in 2007 alone checking callers' identities.

According to ContactBabel chief analyst and managing partner Steve Morrell, a contact center that receives 10 million calls a year can save as much as $6.5 million in that time just by implementing a voice verification system instead.
The study, completed over a period of six months, advocated for voice verification specifically in the area of identity verification in regard to passwords and PINs. The report states that, in a two-factor authentication process, voice verification, combined with a customer’s answer to a personal question, can make a transaction more secure. In addition, the report argues for the increased productivity and company savings when voice biometrics applications are put in place.

Julia Webb, executive vice president of sales and marketing for VoiceVault, also says businesses should weight customer satisfaction and ROI equally.

"I think there’s an increasing level of frustration for customers," she says. "Not only do you need to know your mother’s maiden name or PIN, a lot of time it’s things you can’t remember, so you can spend a lot of time on the phone trying to prove your identity."

Further, Webb explains that though financial institutions have been prominent adopters of voice biometrics applications, most businesses with IVR systems in place could have a "straightforward integration" because the structure for a biometrics model is already in place.

Webb says ROI is quick for call centers adopting the technology. "If I look at the models we presented recently, you could see an ROI within a 12-month period," Webb says.

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