The COVID-19 outbreak has triggered a world of innovation across various verticals. Whether it is automation through AI-powered chatbots or setting up remote offices – technology is facilitating such changes. Widespread digitization has also increased the scope for accommodating augmented technologies that branch out into different areas. Voice biometrics is emerging as one such avenue.
The Need for and Rise of Contactless Technologies
In an attempt to flatten the curve, there has been a great demand for solutions that minimize the necessity of coming in contact with people or surfaces. As most would already know, passwords, PINs, etc., are not exactly tamper-proof. This is because the keypad you would use to enter passwords can easily be spoofed to figure out the typed passwords or PINs.
As a result of multiple factors ranging from the COVID-19 outbreak to an increase in fraudulent activities, businesses are embracing a contactless economy and contactless operations to ensure customer and employee safety. From digital menus to self-help counters – contactless technology is helping build consumer confidence.
Naturally, going contactless is bound to modify customer behavior, which implies that this trend shall last. Hence, businesses must look at it as a long-term, future-proof investment. For this reason, one needs to think beyond fingerprint readers or retina scanners and choose voice biometrics.
What is Voice Biometrics And How It Works
Voice technology has evolved a lot in the past few years and has changed the way we use the data & understand the information.
Voice recognition biometrics make use of sound waves and voice patterns to generate a unique identifier for every individual. It categorizes and recognizes the input based on behavioral features such as pronunciation, accent, talking speed, emphasis, as well as physical characteristics such as the mouth, nasal passage, and vocal tract.
In this manner, voice biometrics leverage the uniqueness of your voice to achieve your goals of securing critical customer information! As we have examined earlier, most technologies are prone to tampering in one way or the other. Hence, it would be best to adopt a voice technology that utilizes unique personal identifiers, such as your voice, to authorize actions, grant access to information, collect audio signatures, record attendance, etc.
The voice biometrics industry 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 sectors using this technology, BFSI dominates the scene for countering fraudulent activities.
Voice Biometrics VS Other Methods of Biometric Collection
Here’s how voice biometrics perform in comparison with face, fingerprint, iris, and palm vein biometrics:
As one can see, voice biometrics perform competitively against other scanners/readers. It may be viewed as the perfect balance that mitigates the drawbacks of contact biometrics (such as fingerprint reader) 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, they 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, BSFI 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 eliminate risks and prevent 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 omnichannel use of voice biometrics.
Companies can pair voice biometrics with automation to authenticate the work-from-home (WFH) agents. Additionally, the use of voice biometrics for 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 biometrics can act as signatures 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.
Voice authentication has certain major advantages over any other form of identity 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 for most users.
- Contactless, and therefore more hygienic and less invasive.
- Useful for phone-based use cases like customer service.
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, matching performance.
- Not ideal for certain environments such as noisy or public spaces.
The Way Ahead
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 when 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 uniquely identifying biological characteristic in order to authenticate them.
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?
The technology, in particular, is very beneficial for banking systems. Voice recognition technology offers higher security than other biometric modalities, such as passwords, iris scanning, fingerprints, etc.