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biometrics

Nuance trumpets $1bn fraud savings

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

Nuance says it saved saved organisations more than $1 billion in total fraud costs in 2018 using AI-powered biometrics technology.

Fraud in enterprise contact centres has always been a challenge to manage, but with the explosion of digital channels, organisations today are faced with securing an increasingly complex ecosystem.

At the same time, fraudsters are getting more sophisticated, working through networks and social engineering their way into accounts to commit intricate, devastating crimes, using information they obtain through one attack to gain access to other accounts a given person may own.

Javelin Strategy & Research reports that account takeovers (ATOs) tripled over the past year, resulting in $5.1B in losses and a CFCA report found that the telco industry was hit with nearly $30B in fraud losses in 2018.  

Nuance Security Suite helps enterprises thwart omni-channel fraud through a layered offering of artificial intelligence technologies, including voice and behavioural biometrics, intelligent channel, geo and network detectors and ConversationPrintand DevicePrint algorithms.

Together, these technologies can identify legitimate customers through the sound of their voice, location, device and the way they talk, tap and type – flagging when a call or online interaction is likely fraudulent by analysing typical conversation patterns, voice characteristics and other aspects of an interaction, identifying perpetrators whose profiles do not match those of a given customer.  

“With Nuance voice biometrics, we get a clearer view of customer and fraudster behaviour, so we can keep genuine customers protected and take the fight to the criminals who are targeting their accounts,” said Jason Costain, Head of Fraud Strategy and Relationship Management, RBS Group. 

In less than one year, RBS screened 17 million inbound calls with Nuance Security Suite. Of these, 23,000 have led to alerts, and the bank has found that one in every 3,500 calls is a fraud attempt.

“The ROI from the tool is well over 300%, so as payback our technology deployment has been very impressive,” Costain added.    

As consumers are getting more comfortable with biometric identification and organisations look for innovative ways to authenticate, adoption of Nuance’s Security Suite is growing at a rapid rate.

Recent deployments include Lloyds Banking Group, Allied Irish Bank, Deutsche Telekom, Rakuten Life Insurance and RBS Group. In addition to curbing fraud, Nuance biometrics decreases the overall time agents spend resolving customer queries with one multinational financial services firm reducing agent handle time by 89 seconds after deploying the product.  

“Our customers come to us not only wanting to make their authentication process more convenient for customers but perhaps more importantly to evolve their contact centre security strategy. Our approach is unique in that our algorithms can not only identify and validate individuals by their voice, but also understand what types of conversation patterns fraudsters typically use. That’s powerful when you consider how much money is lost due to fraudulent account access each year, whether through traditional phone channels or in complex cross-channel attacks,” said Brett Beranek, General Manger, Security Business, Nuance Enterprise. 

Biometrics and behaviour-based authentication on the rise

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

A new survey suggests our relationship with passwords to identify ourselves online is shifting.

For some of us, it’s shocking to consider single-factor authentication is even in use today, given that poor password habits and stronger computing power has led to an increase in hacking-related breaches involving either stolen or weak passwords.

But a Callsign survey has revealed that a knowledge-based approach, such as passwords, for accessing online accounts is now favoured by less than half of UK and US respondents (45% on both sides of the Atlantic).

Over the last few years, increased availability of biometric tools on laptops, tablets and smartphones has given consumers a taste for biometric identification, and in the survey 30% noted a preference for sharing and storing biometric information (32% in the UK and 27% in the US) for identification when accessing an online account or making a purchase.

Bit it’s clear there’s still a long way to go in shifting consumer attitudes away from solely relying on passwords. Callsign says biometric information as well as behavioural biometric data – such as the way a user swipes their screen or their unique keystroke pattern when entering their password – need to become the norm, so companies can more intelligently identify anomalies and apply additional layers of security.

With employees frequently cited as the weakest link in corporate cybersecurity enforcement, it is no surprise that traditional passwords are preferred at work, where people’s reluctance to embrace more innovative methods of identification over a presumed ease of access is commonplace.

Knowledge-based identification was the most favoured by 56% of workers (58% in the UK and 51% in the US), while biometric methods were preferred by a mere 15% of workers.

Other insights from this survey include:

  • Despite the high preference for knowledge-based identifiers at work (58% in the UK and 51% in the US), they are less favourable for personal use, where 46% noted they were preferred when logging in to check an account balance and 44% chose it for making a purchase or a balance transfer
  • The UK tends to be more receptive to biometrics compared to the US, with 32% to 27%, respectively, noting they’d prefer it overall
  • In the US, age is a significant factor as Baby Boomers (55+) are more receptive to passwords (46%) and biometric identifiers (31%) than younger respondents (aged 18-24), with 39% preferring passwords and 26% preferring biometric identifiers. Younger respondents (those 18 to 24) were more receptive to behavioural identifiers (12%) compared to those aged 55+ (4%)

“The study suggests we’re at a tipping point where our reliance on simple passwords is on a steady downward turn,” said Callsign CEO Zia Hayat. “Although two-factor and multi-factor authentication, along with biometrics, are an improvement, they are still flawed. Ultimately, we understand the privacy of users is paramount. Companies need to offer choice and control when it comes to the data that is collected and the identification methods used – another reason multi-factor identification is so limited.”

“However, there is a new realm of behavioural identification that is truly revolutionising and streamlining identification and improving customer experiences, all whilst minimising fraud. Here at Callsign, we’re creating a much more positive experience with greater protection and better privacy for the consumer or worker.”

Callsign commissioned YouGov Plc to conduct the survey. Total sample size was 2,131 adults in the UK and 1,160 adults in the US. Fieldwork was undertaken in August 2018.