July 06, 2012
Magyar Telekom Brings Voice Identification for Added Security
Users of Magyar Telekom systems got a leg up this week as, for the first time ever in Hungary, mobile devices got a shot of simple voice identification protocols to both help improve security on customers' accounts, but also provide a more convenient way overall to get that security.
Starting this month, Magyar Telekom users can use voice identification with customer services departments. The addition of voice analysis provides a significant step up in security, as while fingerprint analysis depends on 40 different traits to determine identity, voice analysis depends on nearly 100 different traits, making it overall a much stronger system to work with in terms of security. In order to access the service, Magyar Telekom users will have access to an automated service that allows them to establish voice samples for later use. First, they'll call either 1430 or 1412 and provide their current password, then record a simple sample phrase: "My voice is my identifier; it is as simple and convenient" to establish the baseline. Users will then be allowed to record several samples at no charge, with additional samples costing an additional fee, for later use in accessing customer service records.
The use of voice identification, at the civilian level, isn't a common occurrence, and Magyar Telekom's chief sales and services officer, Keszeg Atilla, believes that it's going to be a measure that not only increases customer satisfaction, but also streamlines the customer service process such that people get the help they need more quickly.
Offering an added note of security for mobile device users -- indeed, for users of any communications system that relies on stored data or allows users to store their own -- is a smart idea that gives whatever company brings it into play an extra means to distinguish themselves from the growing number of competitors in the mobile field in general. Offering services that other companies can't, or won't, is a great way to pull more customers to that particular enterprise, and offering extra-stringent security in the form of a voice identification system will likely draw the attention of those for whom security in their mobile systems is a high priority. The increased speed of customer service -- saying a password is almost always faster than typing it in, and has a reduced chance of input error -- will also likely prove welcome to users.
Magyar Telekom may be on to something with this one, and thus, it's worth watching to see just how well the voice-as-identification concept works for them.
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Edited by Rich Steeves