The Rise of Voice Authentication Biometrics as a Security Solution
The COVID-19 outbreak has triggered a world of innovation across various new verticals. Whether it is automation solutions through AI-powered chatbots or setting up remote contact secure offices, technology is facilitating such access changes. Widespread digitization has also increased the scope for accommodating augmented technology solutions that branch out into different secure user contact areas. Voice biometric recognition and secure identity authentication are emerging as one such user solutions avenue.
The need for and rise of contactless voice biometrics technologies
In an attempt to flatten the secure contact security solutions curve, there has been a great demand from customers for secure biometric solutions that minimize the necessity of coming in person-to-person contact with customers or surfaces. As most would already know, identity authentication solutions such as passwords, PINs, etc., are not exactly tamper-proof. This is because the keypad customers would access or come in contact with to enter user passwords can easily be spoofed to figure out the typed passwords or PINs.
As a result of multiple security factors ranging from the COVID-19 outbreak to an increase in fraudulent authentication and security solutions activities, businesses and customers are embracing a new contactless economy and contactless and secure biometric authentication operations to ensure user and employee security. From digital menus to self-help counters – contactless recognition technology and biometric secure identity authentication solutions are helping build confidence in the minds of customers.
Naturally, using contactless solutions is bound to modify user behavior, which implies that this trend shall last. Hence, businesses must look at it as a long-term, future-proof security investment. For this reason, one needs to think beyond fingerprint readers or retina scanners and choose voice authentication and identity recognition biometrics.
What is voice authentication biometrics and how does it work?
Voice recognition technology for security and identity authentication involving a speaker has evolved a lot in the past few years and has changed the way a person uses new user data and understands biometric information.
Voice recognition biometrics’ secure identity authentication makes use of a speaker, sound waves and voice patterns to generate a unique identifier for every new person. It categorizes and recognizes the user input using behavioral features such as pronunciation, accent, talking speed, emphasis, as well as physical characteristics such as the mouth, nasal passage, and vocal tract of customers.
In this manner, using speaker and voice biometrics as secure user identity solutions leverages the uniqueness of the customer’s voice to achieve your goals of securing critical customer information in person! As we have examined earlier, most biometric authentication and so-called ‘secure’ recognition technologies are prone to tampering using one way or the other. Hence, it would be best to adopt a new voice technology using a speaker that utilizes unique personal identifiers, such as the customer’s voice, to authorize actions, grant access to new user identity information, collect audio signatures, record person attendance, etc.
The voice biometrics industry involves a lot of new customers and is speculated to register a Y-o-Y (year-over-year) growth of 15.90%, indicating the great amount of potential that it offers. Amongst the various authentication and secure access sectors using this technology, BFSI dominates the scene for countering fraudulent security activities.
The method of using biometric voice recognition is by comparing a new voice sample received from an unknown identity against a series of enrollment templates. This is done to identify the person or user within that particular set of enrollment templates. We call this method as speaker identification.
However, as with all biometric recognition processes, this too has some considerable limitations regarding the accuracy of the speaker identification security solution. Therefore, it is imperative for any business to consult an authentication process expert and understand if a one-to-many-person use case with voice recognition will prove practical.
Voice biometrics vs. other methods of biometric authentications
Here’s how voice recognition biometrics using a speaker perform in comparison with face, fingerprint, iris, and palm vein biometrics:
As customers can see, voice biometrics authentication solutions (using a speaker) perform competitively against other secure scanners/readers. It may be viewed as the perfect balance that mitigates the drawbacks of contact biometrics (such as fingerprint readers) and contactless biometrics (such as a face or iris scanner).
Here’s why you must consider them:
- Voice biometric systems are inexpensive and easy to implement as they require minimal capital investment in hardware, considering more devices have in-built microphones.
- For a voice sensor that is at a distance of 20 cm, the false acceptance rate is 2%, and the false rejection rate is 10%.
- In addition to being reliable and accurate, voice recognition biometrics also can easily navigate and operate with no special instructions.
Voice biometrics use cases
Following are some use cases of voice biometrics in various industries:
Voice biometrics in banking, financial services and insurance(BFSI)
As stated previously, BFSI occupies the greatest market share of the voice biometrics industry. With the rise of online banking and fintech services, voice biometrics in banking, financial services and insurance eliminates risks and prevents access fraudulence. Banking and financial institutions can use it to authenticate high security, advanced, voice-based payments. Further, it can also act as proof of life for disbursing pensionary benefits.
The eCommerce industry makes use of voice biometrics to establish caller identity. It also finds usage in enhancing security, performance, and customer service through the omnichannel use of voice biometrics.
Companies can pair voice biometrics with automation to authenticate any work-from-home (WFH) agent or person. Additionally, the use of voice biometrics for the verification and authentication of clients saves on the time and effort invested by the customer and the agent, thereby bypassing the security questions at the beginning of every interaction.
In the FMCG sector, voice authentication can act as a signature for authentication while accessing services. Accordingly, voice can help businesses acquire delivery or inventory status and other such routine activities. On the other hand, it empowers them to offer an enriched customer experience through voice payments, improved customer service, etc.
The advantages of voice recognition and authentication biometrics
Voice authentication has certain major advantages over any other form of identity or access authentication:
- Widely accessible to authenticate on mobile phones provided all phones have microphones in them.
- Cost-effective to integrate into some other devices as well such as home appliances and automobiles.
- Convenient and very familiar to most users.
- Contactless, and therefore more hygienic and less invasive.
- Useful for phone-based use cases like customer service.
Some disadvantages of the voice recognition security solution
Certain disadvantages of voice authentication include the following:
- Not as accurate as other biometric modalities, for example, facial recognition.
- Requires liveness detection to ensure that a sample is from a live speaker and not a recording.
- Background noise can affect the quality of the sample and, consequently, match performance.
- Not ideal for certain environments such as noisy or public spaces.
Voice Biometrics: A Modern Approach to Security and Identity Verification
The preference for voice technologies is evident from the rise of voice searches. Hence, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that voice biometrics is slated to be the future of authentication. As this technology turns mainstream, it will overcome certain challenges and pave the way for greater security and efficiency. It is only a matter of time before it becomes a crucial part of business operations. So now would be an excellent time for businesses to tap into voice biometrics and become future-ready.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is voice biometrics authentication?
Voice biometrics is the science of using a person’s voice as a unique identifying biological characteristic in order to authenticate their access. It involves analyzing various characteristics of a person’s voice, such as the pitch, tone, and accent, in order to create a unique voiceprint.
Is biometric authentication inexpensive?
Most of these units are relatively inexpensive. These devices allow the user to maintain encrypted passwords that don’t need to be remembered but instead are invoked after the user puts his finger on the reader. This can also be used with a separate PIN or password to offer true two-factor authentication.
Is voice recognition more secure than fingerprint?
Voice recognition biometrics, in particular, is very beneficial for banking systems. Voice authentication technology offers higher security than other biometric modalities, such as passwords, iris scanning, fingerprints, etc.
How accurate is voice biometrics?
Voice biometrics is generally considered to be a reliable and accurate method of authentication, with an error rate of around 1-2%. However, it is important to note that voice biometrics is not foolproof and can be affected by factors such as changes in a person’s voice due to illness or other factors.