What is Voice Biometrics?

Overview of Voice Biometrics Technology

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Voice Biometrics

Voice biometrics technology verifies the identity of a speaker. Somewhat confusingly, it’s also known as voice recognition, speaker recognition, voice-printing, voice authentication and others. For the sake of clarity, we call it voice biometrics.

How does Voice Biometrics Work?

Automated speech recognition (ASR) is a key aspect of technologies such as interactive voice response (IVR), in-vehicle entertainment and emergency services, mobile (e.g. smartphones) and computing. The technology identifies the words a speaker says.

However, voice biometrics identifies specific speakers rather than the words they say. Each of our voices has distinguishing characteristics determined by our anatomy and behavioral speech patterns. The shape and size of our mouths and throats, as well as our language, pitch and speaking patterns (i.e. fast-talking versus slow-talking) all shape our voices.

Voice biometrics maps a speaker’s unique characteristics and then uses the map for later identification. A user provides one or more audio samples, which the system analyzes, to create a unique voiceprint for the speaker. Whenever the user calls in, the software compares the speaker’s voiceprint to the voiceprint on file.

Applications of Voice Biometrics

Voice biometrics technology is key to speaker verification, where the technology is most common. Combined with an ID and a password or PIN, voice biometrics provides two-factor authentication.

An interesting fact is that researchers have even used voice biometrics to identify wolves in Yellowstone National Park by their howls.

Secure IVR Authentication Solutions with Voice Biometrics:

  • IVR-Based Banking Systems
    Automated voice verification outreach can be personalized to maximize impact and utility. For example, send overdraft notifications directly to customers in real-time or send an alert when an account balance drops below a certain amount. Proactively communicate with customers about their account status or potential fraud threats.Plum Voice offers PCI-DSS Level 1 compliant solutions, providing the type of security for financial data that banking and financial services customers expect. Building additional IVR authentication methods into applications improves security and strengthens customer trust.
  • IVR-Based Health Systems
    Paying medical bills over the phone through a PCI-DSS compliant platform ensures that transactions are safe and secure. As one of the most common call types, automating payments improves the efficiency of the entire payment process.

Other Uses of Voice Biometrics and Secure IVR Services:

  • Telephone and internet transactions
  • Remote access to websites and networks
  • Audio signatures for digital documents
  • Mobile workforces such as law enforcement and emergency services
  • Online education
  • Clinical research