Banks have to constantly stay on top of the best methods for authentication to combat online fraud. Traditionally, banks have used knowledge-based authentication methods like PINs, passwords, and one-time passwords. Now, the demand for contactless and seamless technologies has permeated even to banking security, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact. Voice biometrics in banking is a promising online banking solution, above and beyond the retina and fingerprint scanners that require people’s physical presence.

In this post, we trace why traditional authentication methods are falling short in the post-COVID world, and the various avenues opened up in online banking by the adoption of voice biometrics solutions. From fraud prevention to improved customer experience, the benefits are manifold.

Why Move Towards Voice Biometrics For Online Banking?

Knowledge-based authentication has proven effective when done right. Multi-factor authentication, where users input a pre-set password, an OTP sent to their devices, etc., helps prevent the majority of attacks using stolen credentials. As any single factor is useless without the other, fraudsters cannot easily hack the transactions.

However, knowledge-based authentication depends hugely on user vigilance. It requires users to put in the effort to choose strong login credentials, preferably different for each account, and update them regularly. It makes many people feel frustrated with online banking, especially when they have to often come up with passwords that meet the security criteria.

Second, fraudsters have evolved to find ways to scam people. Despite numerous warnings from bankers, people do end up falling prey to phishing scams. An interesting stat states that in 2019, there were 6,233 Indian cases registered under fraud and cheating using communication devices, while the US had over 1473 cyber attacks.

There have been more ingenious techniques involving the use of technology and hacking as well. MasterCard reported that it gets nearly 500,000 intrusion attempts every day. Therefore, knowledge-based authentication is not as tamper-proof as desired.

That brings us to biometric authentication- it is unlikely that fraudsters will find it feasible to steal people’s biometric details on any large scale, even if they do manage a data breach. Particularly, when combined with multifactorial knowledge-based authentication, it provides near-impenetrable security.

What About Other Types Of Biometric Authentication?

The principal kinds of biometric authentication that are relevant to large-scale online banking are physiological like fingerprints, iris patterns, facial recognition, etc., or behavioral like web behavior, IP addresses, voice recognition, etc. They all have the common advantage of convenient user experience as compared to knowledge authentication.

Physiological biometrics have a few drawbacks that became obvious during the COVID-19 pandemic, principally their contact-driven nature, requiring physical presence. While they are the best way to confirm proof of life, it becomes a hassle for consumers like senior citizens and convalescents. Fingerprints may also not be recognized if the person has cuts or scrapes or disorders like psoriasis, contact dermatitis, etc.

Voice biometric authentication in banking relies on voice patterns, with each person having unique phonetic and morphological traits that AI can discern. As voice biometrics is contactless, the methods are more convenient to use and speed up the processes.

Adding Voice Biometrics to Improve Online Banking

Banks are already rolling out voice AI support due to the spread of AI assistants in people’s homes and phones. Customers are increasingly preferring to ask aloud for services from balance inquiry to blocking credit cards. They prefer not to have to remember dates and passwords. Voice prints can be added as another layer of security.

The biggest advantage is remote identification. Physiological biometrics requires scanners at the customer-end, while voice biometrics needs nothing besides existing phone lines and mobile infrastructure. The software exists at the bank’s side. The user can be asked to say a phrase that may be randomly generated to create a sample to authenticate. If a match is not found, access will be denied. This method works against hackers who try to use voice recordings.

There are nearly 6500 languages spoken all over the world. Voice biometrics in banking is key to extending comfortable banking services everywhere. armour365™ is an AI-based voice biometric solution that has the advantage of being language and text independent while also being incredibly fast. armour365™ has an anti-spoofing layer to prevent hacking by using recorded voice or voice models. There are two modes of voice biometrics to enhance security:

  • Passive or Using Free Speech This method doesn’t need the user to say anything specific and happens seamlessly in the background.
  • Active or Using Passphrase – This method requires the user to speak a predetermined passphrase, fixed or dynamic.

Voice Biometrics In Banking – Use Cases

Let’s take a look at some areas where voice biometrics can enhance operational efficiency and save costs.

Public Services

Banks offer social security products like insurance and pension that require proof-of-life authentication when the payments are disbursed. Rather than asking people to come in, their voices can be used. The biometric technology can identify over 140 features of human voices to make identification reliable and tamper-proof.

Contact Centers

Hundreds of calls are received in the call center every day, and the agents have to spend nearly 5 minutes to authenticate the user, which is frustrating for the customers. Conversational AI is already transforming the call centers by providing a seamless customer experience, Voice biometrics can further simplify the interactions. It can validate the customer’s identity when dealing with sensitive cases. The call waiting time reduces, making everything more efficient.

Automating Simple Queries

Accessibility of banking is a major concern worldwide. Developing countries have large sections of the population that cannot physically visit branches, even for simple things like checking their balance, while many are not savvy enough to use apps to do so. Those with disabilities of sight are also disadvantaged in this regard. Voice biometrics makes it convenient to carry out their day-to-day tasks securely.

Enhances KYC Processes

Multilingual countries like South Asia have people of varying education levels across far-flung areas. Voice biometrics can help include such people into a financial security net as the solutions are language-independent.

Conclusion

Early adoption of next-gen technology like voice biometrics can help accelerate the modernization of the banking industry, keeping it poised to hold the attention of the millennial and gen Z customers who are its future. Secondly, cyberattacks cost each banking company an average of $18.3 million annually.

armour365™ is a flexible and easy to deploy voice biometric. It can be integrated into the existing IVR, telephony, and other mediums without any need for special equipment. Therefore the initial investment is less, and you can also deliver a smooth and secured customer experience.

Request Demo