Customer Authentication – Stuck in the Last Century

Every day, it seems, we are finding new and more efficient ways to interact with our service providers, whether our bank, mobile provider, insurance company, favorite airline, or retailer. New technologies are making it easier and faster to interact and carry out transactions whether we’re purchasing something or updating personal details. There is, however, one very conspicuous speed bump: customer authentication.

Despite the fact that we’ve got more interaction channels than ever before, most customers simply want to speak with a service rep. And it should come as no surprise that customers really don’t like jumping through hoops each time they speak to their service provider over the phone. According to a new white paper released by Opus Research, 80% of all callers prefer to go straight to a human operator, and 85% of customers don’t like the current authentication processes.

Customers are further frustrated with the time and effort spent just to address their service requests. And, this is getting worse as service providers are requiring more sophisticated passwords, more complex verification questions, and more token and dongles to carry around.

Unfortunately, all of these efforts are still being circumvented by increasingly determined fraudsters who are targeting the phone channel. And, as a result, companies are likely to further increase the number of hoops and hurdles that legitimate customers have to pass going forward. All this begs the $200 billion question*: Is there a way to protect the contact center while reducing the customer burden?

Opus Research, in its recent white paper,discusses the current challenges of legacy authentication techniques and how to find the right balance between convenience and security when authenticating customers. The paper, entitled The Case for Passive, Voice-Based Authentication, explains the role of voice biometrics in 21st century authentication technology. It also elucidates how NICE’s Real-Time Authentication solution helps solve the paradox between customer protection and customer hurdles.

Click here to download a full copy of the white paper. NICE will be presenting its authentication solution and launching this white paper at the Voice Biometrics Conference in San Francisco, taking place May 8-9, 2013.

*Note: Identity Theft Resource Center estimates worldwide identity theft / account takeover to cost approx. $220 billion annually


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