Lloyds TSB Uses Paperless Employee Share Sscheme Registration

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - Lloyds TSB Group plc, a financial institution, has started operating a completely paperless employee share scheme by deploying a telephony speech recognition service from SRC. The telephone-based speech recognition service has been implemented by Lloyds TSB Registrars to initially handle Lloyds TSB's own Share Incentive Program (SIP) but Lloyds TSB Registrars plan to offer the service to its other clients - which number almost 800 companies and includes more than half of the FTSE 100 - to simplify the process of employee share scheme registration. With about 75,000 eligible employees able to register for the SIP program, Lloyds TSB estimates half will use the speech recognition service while the remainder will opt for the bank's existing Internet registration process. "Speech recognition was the ideal technology to handle the process of employee share scheme registration, because it is simple for users and is much more cost-effective than paper-based systems," Lloyds TSB Registrars senior manager, Chris Bush, said. "Importantly for Lloyds TSB Registrars, the hosted speech technology system from SRC doesn't impact on internal IT resources and ensures our call centre is not burdened with thousands of extra calls from people trying to register for shares." With the FSA recently signalling a tougher stance on the enforcement of share laws, SRC CEO, Chris Hart, said there was another compelling reason why speech technology was a better option for registrars than call center agents. "By law, employers are not allowed to advise employees on the purchase of shares. Speech recognition eliminates the risk of agents discussing choices with employees and ensures each call is controlled, consistent and uses standard approved prompts," Mr Hart said. "Employee share scheme registration has remained a paper-based activity for so long because using a telephone-based system has been impractical - not only because of the regulatory risks associated with call centre agents but also because of the costs involved. The accuracy and cost effectiveness of speech recognition is enabling share register administration to finally become a simple, paperless exercise." The SRC speech service developed for Lloyds TSB Registrars has the ability to handle three types of employee share schemes; free shares, partnership shares and SAYE (save as you earn), asking callers for a unique reference number, surname and national insurance details, before providing them with other options - such as how much they would like to invest or how they would like to receive their dividends, depending on the particular share scheme. A unique grammar of many thousands of words was developed by SRC to support the speech system, which took two-and-a-half months to complete. Hosted remotely on SRC's carrier-grade platform that is built on Nortel Networks' technology for media processing and call center environments, the service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Mr. Bush said the feedback from Lloyds TSB employees who had used the telephone speech service since it went live at the end of January had been excellent. "The callers have been impressed by the quality of the technology, and how clever it is in recognising what they say. We've even had comments from some employees who have said they didn't realise they were speaking to an automated system," he said. "SRC has been known to the Lloyds TSB Group for quite some time now, and from working with them on this project and the feedback we have received from users, their reputation as the UK's leader in developing speech recognition solutions is well deserved. We're now looking at ways we can extend the system to encompass other share registration products." Mr. Bush said he expected announcements on other Lloyds TSB Registrars customers signing up to use the speech recognition service would be made in the coming weeks.
SpeechTek Covers
for qualified subscribers
Subscribe Now Current Issue Past Issues