This article properly claims that current authentication methods create friction, frustrate customers, and increase abandonment. However, voice biometrics, the focus of this article, is not a panacea. While voice biometrics increases security for call centers, it should be implemented within a risk-based framework that introduces a step-up challenge in high risk situations. That step-up challenge should use an authentication method that is common across all banking channels, including the authentication of the cardholder when making high-risk ATM, credit, and debit transactions. Smartphone-based authentication is the answer.
Currently between 74% to 96% of consumers, depending on age, use a smartphone. By using the smartphone consistently for all step-up authentications across all channels including card usage, bank customers gain confidence in the method and build up the muscle memory that makes the authentication process more convenient and reliable. To assure consumer privacy and eliminate potential honeypots that attract criminals, no biometric data should ever leave the handset, which can be accomplished using the FIDO standard:
“Current authentication methods are challenging for consumers to navigate, and have gradually become more complex as layers of security – such as temporary codes in addition to login credentials – are added to make the consumer’s account and data safer.
“These multi-factor authentication methods can be incredibly painful for consumers, particularly those who save passwords and pins in web browsers – or worse, on sticky notes – and need to immediately access their account on the go,” said Allison Murray, chief growth officer at CheckAlt, which provides payment processing solutions to financial firms. “These pain points are paving the way for improved security and user experience through biometric technology, including voice authentication as well as fingerprint and retina scanning.”
Rob Krugman, chief digital officer at Broadridge, says the friction introduced by the current authentication process is a major obstacle on the path to digital adoption for banks. The need for countless usernames, passwords and passcodes results in consumer apathy and hinders the ability of financial firms to communicate and transact with their clients digitally.
“Customers often decide to abandon an attempted transaction or interaction if they forget their username or password, because it’s such a hassle to reset their credentials,” said Krugman. “Utilizing voice or facial biometrics would eliminate these frustrating obstacles, and would likely result in more frequent consumer interactions.””
Overview by Tim Sloane, VP, Payments Innovation at Mercator Advisory Group