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IVR - Voice Biometrics - Leading the Demand for IVR
May 18, 2011

Voice Biometrics - Leading the Demand for IVR

By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor

The technology related to voice and speech has evolved to the point that it is not only used for self-service portals for commercial and non-profit organizations throughout the world, it is also used by military and police intelligence agencies.

In fact, according to this IT Web report, biometrics has become an integral part of these operations. In addition to Interactive Voice Response (IVR), this technology has evolved to the point where innovators are no longer focused on idea generation, but technology execution. 

When used as an identification tool, IVR can become an important part of innovation applications, providing access control tools for specific industries, and monitoring tools in others. Voice biometrics is increasingly emerging as a potential means of reducing the fraudulent use of credit cards when making purchases online. 

Even with the variety of different advancements in voice biometrics, IVR still remains the most popular. Used for customer interactions, voice biometrics delivers realistic and affordable methods for companies to enhance security, add value and even trim costs that are often associated with customer service. 

In the IVR platform, voice biometrics provides the unique representations of the characteristics of the vocal tract for each individual. When people produce sound, they air from the lungs is passed through one or more resonators, which could be the larynx, the nose or the mouth. These physical components can combine to produce a unique sound that can be analyzed, measured and stored. 

Using IVR as a form of identification means that a sample of speech is analyzed as part of the enrollment process. The sample is measured and the results are entered into a complex algorithm. To verify identity, a new sample is taken for analysis and measurement. Identify is confirmed through the calculation matches. This form of identification is said to be on par with that of fingerprints. 

Fraud online is a fast growing crime and countries throughout the world are investigating the possibilities to fight malicious activities. And, because it is impossible to verify physical identity over the phone or online, it is important to implement technologies such as voice biometrics to verify identity and ensure the person making the purchase or conducting the transaction has the authority to do so. 

Voice and IVR also offer a higher degree of use acceptance simply because speaking is a natural process that occurs every day. To achieve voice authentication, participants do not have to engage in unusual behavior. The same is true for IVR – it is successful because it relies on everyday activities to complete the job.

Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for To read more of Susan’s articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Juliana Kenny

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