Tools of torture – Customer Authentication

In the time of Spanish Inquisition, the instruments of torture were iron teeth and fire.  As far as customer experience goes, today’s methods of “torture” are a bit less physical, but no less painful. Services providers continue to subject their customers to an intrusive and inconvenient authentication process, where myriad passwords, PINs, tokens and security questions are the modern day tools of torture… and customers definitely don’t like it. 

The authentication process can take up to two minutes, while most leading enterprises looking to protect their contact centers and their customers will typically report authentication times of 45 to 60 seconds, according to the US Contact Center Decision Makers’ Guide 2013. As well, Americans spent approximately 15 billion minutes (yes, with nine zeros) being authenticated – that’s almost an hour per person in the US. At around $1 per minute, that’s a whopping $15 billion spent on authentication every year. Add that up globally and we’ve got a serious problem.

Despite all of this, customer authentication is still seen as a weak link in the armor. It seems that while we – the legitimate customers – have too much to remember, fraudsters continue to breeze through the interrogation. As comedian Don Friesen, put it: I don’t even care that you hacked my account, just tell me how you did it. Hold the door open, I will follow you in.

So is there a way to avoid this torture? Well, according to Opus Research, voice biometrics is part of the ideal authentication solution that “balances both ease of use and security concerns”. Real-Time Authentication leverages voice biometrics to authenticate customers without putting them through the Spanish Inquisition. Using individual voice prints as a unique identifier, this type of solution can authenticate customers in the first few seconds of the call, allowing us to skip the annoying security questions.

On Tuesday, Sept. 17th, Opus Research will be hosting a webinar to discuss how voice-based authentication makes this whole process quicker, easier and more secure. So tune in to find out how authentication is finally moving out of the 15th century.

To access the Opus Research White Paper, click here

To access The US Contact Center Decision-Makers’ Guide 2013 - White Paper, click here

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