By the end of this year, customers of DBS bank in Singapore will no longer need to answer security questions to verify their identity when they call into the bank's customer centre.
Instead, a voice biometric authentication system will verify customers in 15 seconds or less as they speak to the bank's customer service officers (CSOs).
Besides reducing the time for authentication, "voice biometric is more secure" as customers do not have to remember their PIN or reveal their personal information in public when on the phone with CSOs, said Lena Low, DBS' Executive Director of Customer Centre.
Customers with a sore throat or who have to speak in a noisy area would still be verifiable as their voices are profiled by a number of identifiers such as speed of speech, cadence and pronunciation. Voice print cannot be reverse engineered once stored, according to DBS.
The initiative follows on from the bank's launch of an enhanced dynamic interactive voice response (IVR) system at the customer centre last December. Customers who find themselves in urgent situations such as when their credit card transaction is rejected, need not worry about having to go through tedious menu options. They will immediately be routed to the bank's CSOs, skipping all menu options. The CSOs will have all the information related to the event on screen, sparing customers the need to explain their situation, and there is less anxiety on their part.
The call menu has also been personalised according to the products a customer holds. Customers with credit cards, for instance, will not hear other banking options, resulting in a shorter menu. The redesigned menu shortens a customer's time spent on a call by 30 seconds, while customer satisfaction on DBS' IVR has improved from 3.5 to 4.1 within six months (with 5 being most satisfied).
According to DBS, voice biometrics and IVR will save DBS customers a significant amount of time given the bank receives more than 5 million calls each year from its consumer banking customers in Singapore. This is in line with the bank's belief in making banking convenient for customers so they can do more the things that matter to them.
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