Voice Authentication for WhatsApp

Do more with WhatsApp for Business

With over 1.5 billion monthly users in 180 countries, WhatsApp is the world’s most popular messaging app. Today, companies use WhatsApp Business API to answer questions, send delivery updates, provide purchase receipts, and send boarding passes. But what about enabling more secure interactions, like making a payment or sharing healthcare information?

The easiest way to secure payments and more.

ID R&D has partnered with Wittybots to bring in-app voice biometric authentication capability to WhatsApp for Business. Now companies can move beyond using WhatsApp for simple customer service requests to enabling secure interactions and payments based on a person’s voice. After a quick 20-second enrollment, the user simply taps the microphone icon to record and send a short voice message for future authentication. Combined with the user’s device as a factor (something they have), voice biometrics enables low-friction 2FA. There’s no need for frustrating and vulnerable passwords, PINs, or knowledge-based authentication. And, there is no need to switch channels due to security concerns.

Already have a chatbot for WhatsApp? You can easily add ID R&D voice biometrics into your existing WhatsApp for Business application.

How Voice Biometrics Work in WhatsApp

Voice biometric technology extracts features that describe the uniqueness of each voice to create a “voice print.” Encrypted, binary “voice prints” of enrolled persons are used to determine a match when authentication is required. Liveness detection prevents imposters from presenting recorded or synthetic speech to spoof the system.

Voice biometric technology with liveness detection through a mobile device enables a level of security that is similar to a PIN. Combined with the device as a factor, it’s a solution that enables strong security without sacrificing the user experience.

WhatsApp Demo
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    STEP 1:
    A user opts in to use voice authentication.

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    STEP 2:
    The user is prompted to speak a short passphrase 3 times.

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    STEP 3:
    The biometric system merges voice samples to create a voice print. The user is now enrolled.

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    STEP 4:
    Next time authentication is required, the user simply taps the mic in WhatsApp, speaks their passphrase and hits send.

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    STEP 5:
    Behind the scenes, voice biometrics with liveness detection ensure that the person speaking matches the enrolled user, and that the voice is not a spoof.

Authentication takes just 1-2 seconds!

Easy Two Factor Authentication in WhatsApp

Payment interfaces require Strong Customer Authentication, aka “SCA,” a regulatory requirement of PSD2 in Europe, which will likely be adopted globally. SCA requires two or more independent security factors. The device is one factor, proven by the WhatsApp account. So the question becomes what will be the second factor? According to security standards, the options for a second factor are something you have, something you know, like a password, and something you are such as a biometric.

What does WhatsApp need to do to enable highly secure, true two-factor authentication without passwords using voice biometrics? Nothing. The authentication is owned and conducted by the corporate users of WhatsApp for Business in conjunction with the chatbots. Biometric templates are not reversible back into audio, so storing them is safe and secure.

User-friendly and secure two-factor authentication enables a comprehensive solution for high-value business interactions within WhatsApp. Now companies can conduct payments, share sensitive, personal data with all strong security yet minimal effort from the users. This opens a world of possibilities!

The Advantages of Voice Biometrics for WhatsApp for Business

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    Enable customers to stay WhatsApp channel for more types of inquiries and transactions
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    Simplify security by eliminating PINs and Knowledge Based Authentication
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    Reduce fraud by replacing “something you know” security factors
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    Improve the customer experience with natural, easy authentication

Interested in Beta access to the ID R&D and Wittybots solution?