NXT-ID’s New Solution Enables Purchases Using Voice-Directed Payments

NXT-ID, a provider of security solutions for mobile devices, has filed a patent for technology that combines voice biometrics with voice-directed payments for smart wallets.

To employ the solution, a user records his name, which is stored and must be used to access his information (voice biometrics). A user must also name his credit cards; the company calls this "voice cards." For example, a gas card might be dubbed "Shell" or simply "gas." If a user has multiple credit cards, they could be named, as in "Visa One," or "red" for MasterCard. The patent also allows users to store other private information, such as Social Security numbers and passwords. Currently, the patent specifically covers smart wallets, but that could expand in the future.

"The technology has two-factor authentication," says David Tunnell, chief technology officer and executive vice president of NXT-ID. "It recognizes the word you're saying, which is speaker-independent. It also recognizes your voice, which is speaker-dependent, and knows that you are who you say you are. A lot of people have tried to do speaker-independent speech recognition, meaning that no matter who says it, as long as you say 'gas card number three,' the system recognizes it and take the appropriate action."

When the solution recognizes both pieces of information, it directs payment to a payment device, which could be a point-of-sale terminal (POS) or magnetic stripe. A code is sent between a user's device—a smart wallet, phone, or smartwatch, for example—which is directed by voice recognition, and the device that allows payment.

"You own the data. We keep it in the vault, in a smart wallet, whether you send it through your watch or phone or through the wallet itself. We only release that information when we recognize you are who you say you are and you have the magic word," Tunnell says.

However, if a user forgets what he's named a card, he will have to use an alternative method of payment from his smart wallet. The smart wallet will need to be reprogrammed with the solution. Right now, the technology is being implemented, and Tunnell says the company will implement voice-directed payment technology in its Wocket product in the near future.

NXT- ID's flagship product, Wocket, is a smart wallet that can be used without needing a connection to the Internet or a smartphone application. The Wocket uses its own app that keeps track of a user's account and updates the solution's firmware. Additionally, NXT-ID also has 22 licensed patents in the field of 3D facial recognition through its subsidiary, 3D-ID.

"Enabling people to make payments using their voice at the point of sale has a lot of merit," says Dan Miller, founder and lead analyst at Opus Research. "It's great to see so many initiatives around mobile payments that include biometrics, including touch and face recognition, as well as voice. We're letting individual customers make the decision at the point of sale. NXT-ID is covering a lot of bases with its Wocket and a portfolio of patents that span multiple biometric tokens."

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