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IVR: Will Voice Signatures Replace Written Ones?
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IVR: Will Voice Signatures Replace Written Ones?

July 20, 2011

  By David Sims, TMCnet Contributing Editor

Remember the old days, some say, when a man’s word was his bond? There wasn’t a need for signatures or forms or written documentation. Well, those days might be here again.

Voice biometrics is the science that recognizes the fact that a person’s voice is as unique as their face or fingerprint -- or signature.

According to a good white paper on the topic from IVR experts Angel, entitled “Speak On the Dotted Line,” voice signature tools “can help enterprises that require traditional registration and confirmation processes such as offline, paper forms with wet ink signatures to drastically streamline the process and improve conversions.”

“Show it to me in writing” might become “Lemme hear you say it.” Angel officials say it would be a boon to deal closings: “Research has shown that no matter what the industry, there is a 30-55 percent fall-off rate when a paper process is involved in getting a signature from parties who are not face-to-face.”

This means second thoughts, no doubt, in many cases, which might explain why voice signatures aren’t in extremely high demand. It’s one thing to say something in a meeting or at a trade show, it’s another thing to go over the details a bit more soberly before committing.

But there’s no denying the uniqueness of voice. “There are more than 120 different touchpoints to an individual’s voice,” the paper says, noting that a good voice biometric will “capture all of these touchpoints and, in essence, make a fingerprint of that unique voice.”

The entire paper’s an interesting and worthwhile read on the subject. As Angel officials conclude, voice biometrics is a “cost-effective, easy to integrate and a non-invasive technique for identifying and authenticating people. Voice Signature can be used within any phone or smartphone-based process where a traditional handwritten signature is needed.”

And you don’t need to buy new hardware or on-site software to start using it either, as the Angel Voice Signature is “part of a fully hosted offering.”

David Sims is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of David’s articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.

Edited by Tammy Wolf
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