Intervoice Offers Something to Bank On

Intervoice has the financial services industry doing a double take—one for each communication option, that is. The company released its voice banking application, Intervoice Banking 3.0, with not only speech but also touchtone options. The blended options are opening up opportunities for customer care in the financial arena.

"This goes back to the more fundamental question of how you are going to support the caller. Today, you want to be able to support callers with both touchtone and speech to afford them a sense of privacy, security, and comfort with the automated system," says Judith Markowitz, president of J. Markowitz, Consultants. "This is going to be one of the tenants of the usability standards being put out by Paul English," adds Markowitz.

Intervoice Banking 3.0 is based on the Edify S1 voice banking application, which became part of Intervoice's product line after it acquired Edify. Now in its third version, Intervoice Banking 3.0 has added nine more features to the original 14 transactions.

"S1's domain and expertise was in banking, so what we've been able to do is continue to improve upon that application by adding capabilities that meet regulatory compliances and afford a high level of customer service," says Marie Jackson, senior vice president of global marketing at Intervoice.

Intervoice Banking 3.0 offers 200-plus natural language options for accessing account information and performing transactions. The product also offers debit card and credit card activation or deactivation. It has multifactor authentication with account number and user password as well as the potential for speaker verification using voice biometrics. Using the application, customers can check escrow balances for loans and make withdrawals from their checking accounts. It also boasts routing capabilities and member-to-member transfer. "There are a few transactions that you do continually with your bank and our goal is to make those interactions really rich," Jackson says.

Intervoice Banking 3.0 offers bilingual options, as well. It is packaged with English language speech recognition, but Intervoice can add Spanish language speech recognition functionality as well. The latest version also includes English and Spanish touchtone capabilities—both touchtone languages come packaged in the application.

Although a packaged application, Intervoice Banking 3.0 can also be customized for unique needs. Companies can customize the product through Intervoice's Global Consulting Services, which grants financial institutions access to future products as they are released. The application also has new back-end interfaces to simplify integration into existing environments. "The whole package is only as good as its ability to integrate to the back-end systems that you have," Jackson adds.

As the financial industry moves toward blended options, Markowitz explains, "I see the use of speech increasing, but I don't see the use of touchtone being abandoned. The more options that you can offer a customer, the better you can support them." However, she adds, "Speech is definitely the trend."

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