Nuance Voice Biometrics Authenticates Customers by the Unique Sound of Their Voice, Replacing Intrusive Questioning with Secure, Simple Solution

Nuance Communications, Inc. announced that Investec, South Africa’s leading Private Bank and Wealth & Investment manager, has deployed Nuance’s voice biometrics to improve the experience for their South African Private Banking clients. Investec turned to Nuance’s FreeSpeech voice biometric solution to authenticate their private bank clients by the sound of their voice, eliminating the need for frustrating PINs and passwords, making the authentication process quick and secure while improving the banking experience.

Investec, South Africa’s leading Private Bank and Wealth & Investment manager, has become the first financial institution in South Africa to deploy voice biometrics technology to transform the authentication process. Previously, clients calling in to the bank would be subject to answering security questions to confirm their identity, creating a time consuming process and an area of frustration. Investec understands that their clients’ time is valuable and sought to implement a solution that offered increased security yet was fast and convenient for the client.

Investec, in partnership with OneVault, a South African-based, specialist voice biometric company, deployed Nuance’s voice biometrics solution to verify the identity of the client through a natural conversation with a bank representative. While engaging in conversation, the FreeSpeech technology analyzes the client’s voice to compare it with their unique voiceprint on file. The system signals the Investec representative when the client’s identity has been confirmed so the client’s query or request can be resolved seamlessly.

The security of PIN and password-based systems are under near-constant security attacks by hackers. Voice biometrics offers the proven alternative for organizations to increase security while improving the customer experience. “We are excited to be on the forefront of this game changing technology,” said Craig West, head of Investec’s Global Client Support Centre (CSC). “Voice biometrics allows us to offer our clients an unprecedented experience, streamlining the banking process while also offering unsurpassed security.”

“The customer service landscape is changing rapidly and it’s become clear that PINS and passwords are creating gaps in both security and customer experience when it comes to authentication,” said Robert Weideman, executive vice president and general manager of the Nuance Enterprise Division. “By turning to voice biometrics, Investec has joined the ranks of other organizations worldwide that are utilizing an effective solution that offers a more natural and intuitive experience.”

“Voice biometrics is quickly becoming a mainstream technology solution that goes to the heart of driving business value. Investec has demonstrated a true commitment to both customer security and the customer experience by introducing voice biometrics in the South African financial services market,” said Paul Hutton, CEO, OneVault.

Nuance’s voice biometrics solutions have been adopted globally by other large organizations as well, such as Barclays Wealth & Investment Management, ING Netherlands, Tangerine Bank, Tatra Banka, TD Waterhouse, Turkcell, T-Mobile and Vanguard.  Around the world, voice biometrics is quickly becoming an accepted form of authentication which has proven to be both secure and convenient. New data from Opus Research shows that the voice biometrics authentication market is poised to grow from $200M (2013) to $750M globally in 2017.

Nuance voice biometrics technology leads the industry, with over 50 million voiceprints deployed by its customers, representing over 80% of the commercial market. (Opus Research: Census Report: Voice Biometrics Census and Forecast, November 2014).

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