Security

Pivotal Data improves contact centre CX with advanced voice authentication

Pivotal Data has seamlessly integrated OneVault's voice biometric authentication solution into its contact centre solution as a value-added feature.

According to Bruce Arnold, CEO at Pivotal Data, today's hyper-connected consumers demand efficient service, quicker transactions and a frictionless experience when engaging with a contact centre.

"Operators must therefore strike the right balance between the need to authenticate customers to ensure safety, security and regulatory compliance, without compromising on the customer experience (CX)," explains Arnold.

"Ensuring optimised CX has therefore become a strategic imperative. In this regard, voice biometric authentication technology is a real game-changer for contact centres, as it enables customers to easily and quickly verify their identity without the hassle of remembering PINs or passwords, or having to answer questions."

This removes the complexity and frustration inherent in traditional authentication processes. "This minimises average handling times and can therefore significantly reduce operating costs. It also results in a streamlined and seamless CX that boosts customer satisfaction, without compromising on security," continues Arnold.

By offering embedded voice authentication, Pivotal Data contact centre clients are able to authenticate callers over any form of voice communication, including landlines, feature and smartphones, and voice over IP connections.

A customer is first authenticated against a combination of validation techniques and then enrolled on the voice biometric solution, where their voice biometrics are securely stored in an encrypted and centralised hosted voice bank.

"Once this process has been completed, a customer's voice then becomes their unique form of identification. It can then be used to authenticate callers during subsequent calls, or when they engage with any contact centre that runs one of our hosted solutions as they gain immediate access to our optimally configured voice authentication engine," continues Arnold.

When customers call the contact centre, voice biometric technology automatically verifies an individual's identity via either an active or passive authentication process that analyses their unique physical and behavioural vocal characteristics.

Active authentication automatically verifies callers using a text-dependent phrase, such as "my voice is my password", for example. This is ideally suited to 24/7 self-service contact centre operations as this functionality can authenticate callers in interactive voice response (IVR) queues. This capability can also improve contact centre efficiency by offloading calls from contact centre agents.

Conversely, agent-assisted passive authentication applies voice biometric verification in the background as the caller speaks naturally to the contact centre agent. Customers and agents are not required to change their behaviour, and knowledge-based authentication can be bypassed.

"Not only is a person's voice the most practical means of remote authentication, it is also as accurate as their fingerprints. By combining voice characteristics such as pitch, tone, pronunciation, emphasis, accents, and the rhythm of speech, the solution produces unique and language-independent voice patterns for every individual," explains Arnold.

These capabilities strengthen security to protect consumers against the rising risks of identity theft, fraud, account takeovers due to social engineering and credential hacking, while also safeguarding businesses against the threat of financial losses and reputational damage. Voice biometrics can also be used to complement established Internet security practices such as traditional security-based questions and pins to add another layer of protection.

"More importantly, this technology facilitates quicker engagements and more enjoyable experiences in the contact centre. These capabilities effectively change a contact centre agent's narrative from 'who are you?' to 'how can I help you?', which can often be the key differentiator between success and failure in today's highly competitive marketplace," he concludes.

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