BURLINGTON, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nuance Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: NUAN) today announced that the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has completed its two-phased deployment of Nuance’s voice biometrics solutions in its call center in an effort to build stronger customer relationships with taxpayers and enhance authentication by replacing intrusive security questioning. With the introduction of its voice biometrics systems, ATO becomes the first organization in Australia to deploy voice biometrics in this manner.
The ATO receives approximately nine million calls per year from the community, with around 75 percent of these calls requiring an ATO agent to verify the caller’s identity. In addition, the ATO expects to receive more than half (4.3) million of these calls within its three-month peak tax period between July and October 2015. Prior to voice biometrics, when a customer called to conduct a transaction with the ATO, the authentication process involved several steps, putting pressure not only on customers to provide personal details or have the correct documentation in front of them, but also on the ATO’s call center agents, who collectively spent approximately 75,000 hours each year just trying to verify customers over the phone.
To solve this, the ATO chose to deploy Nuance’s voice biometrics solutions, in partnership with Optus, an existing managed network services provider, and Nuance. The ATO completed its first installation of Nuance’s VocalPassword solution in September 2014, whereby customers speak a simple passphrase to verify their account. In April 2015, the ATO completed its second phase of deployment, the implementation of Nuance’s FreeSpeech solution, a first of its kind deployment in Australia that verifies customers during inbound and outbound calls without intrusive questioning, providing a seamless experience for customers. Combined, the new VocalPassword and FreeSpeech voice biometrics solutions provide an added layer of security for ATO customers, helping to prevent and detect identity theft.
This streamlined approach has let the ATO quickly boost call completion rates, while also improving security for customers using the contact center. Some initial results from the two-phase deployment include:
- Between September 2014 and mid July 2015, more than 760,000 Australians have enrolled for the voice biometrics solution. This is an insight into the growth expected during the 2015 tax period: the busiest period for ATO call centers.
- Early customer feedback has indicated that the contact center experience has improved, with repeat callers experiencing a 40-45 second reduction in the average time that they are on the phone with an agent.
- Within the first 12 days of the FreeSpeech release, total FreeSpeech enrollments were 25 percent of the volume of VocalPassword enrollments for the previous eight months, highlighting the simplicity and seamless nature of the system.
- There have been over 480,000 successful VocalPassword verifications and over 104,000 successful FreeSpeech verifications upon the Australian public’s use of the system.
“No one wants to be on a call to the ATO longer than they need to, but we must ensure that convenience and ease of access are effectively balanced with our mutual need for security” said John Dardo, acting deputy commissioner, ATO. “With Nuance’s voice biometrics solutions, we have introduced a secure, fast and easy way to verify a customer’s identity, providing a greatly improved experience for our customers and for our staff. The streamlined authentication has allowed the ATO to quickly boost call completion rates, whilst also improving customer security. Customer and staff feedback has been very positive and they see this as another example of us delivering contemporary client experiences.”
“All organizations are competing to provide new and engaging customer service experiences that are simple and secure,” said Robert Weideman, executive vice president and general manager for the Enterprise Division of Nuance. “The customer experience is at the core of Nuance’s voice biometrics technology, a premise which aligns perfectly with the ATO’s organizational goals. Using Nuance’s voice biometrics solutions, the ATO has been able to greatly improve its customer service experience, while reducing costs and delivering an authentication process that eases the burden on both customers and service agents.”
Organizations around the globe are recognizing the growing consumer frustration with PINs, passwords and security questions, and are addressing it head-on to make customer authentication more convenient and more secure than knowledge-based authentication. Nuance’s voice biometrics solutions have been adopted globally by other large organizations, such as ING Netherlands, Santander Mexico, SK Telecom, Tangerine Bank, Tatra Banka, Turkcell and Vodacom South Africa.
New data from Opus Research shows that the voice biometrics authentication market is poised to grow from $200M (2013) to $750M globally in 2017. Nuance voice biometrics technology leads the industry, with over 50 million voiceprints deployed by its customers. (Opus Research: Census Report: Voice Biometrics Census and Forecast, November 2014).
For more information about Nuance Voice Biometrics technology, please visit: www.nuance.com/voice-biometrics.
About Nuance Communications, Inc.
Nuance Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: NUAN) is a leading provider of voice and language solutions for businesses and consumers around the world. Its technologies, applications and services make the user experience more compelling by transforming the way people interact with devices and systems. Every day, millions of users and thousands of businesses experience Nuance’s proven applications. For more information, please visit www.nuance.com.
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