What is Voice Biometrics

and why should you use it?

Voice biometrics is the science of using a person’s voice as a uniquely identifying biological characteristic in order to authenticate them. Also referred to as voice verification or speaker recognition, voice biometrics enables fast, frictionless and highly secure access for a range of use cases from call center, mobile and online applications to chatbots, IoT devices and physical access.

Like other biometric modalities, voice identification offers significant security advantages over authentication methods that are based on something you know (like a password or answer to a “secret” question) or something you have (like your mobile phone). Voice biometrics also improves the customer experience by removing frustration associated cumbersome login processes and lost and stolen credentials.

Voice Biometric Advantages

Enhance the customer experience with fast, frictionless authentication
Improve security and minimize breaches due to compromised passwords, phishing, etc.
Reduce threats by identifying known fraudsters
Instantly identify users and personalize the interaction
Free agents from time spent verifying users and resetting passwords
Enable natural login for digital channels, including chatbots and virtual assistants
Use as part of a two-factor authentication process to increase security without adding effort

How Voice Biometrics work

There are over 70 body parts– each with a unique size and shape – that contribute to how a person speaks.

Voice biometric systems work by creating a voice print or “template” of a person’s speech. A template is created, encrypted and stored for future voice verification only when a user opts in or “enrolls”. Typically, the enrollment process is passive, meaning a template can be created in the background during a user’s normal interaction with an application or agent.

The use of voice biometrics for authentication is increasing in popularity due to improvements in accuracy, fueled largely by advances in AI, and heightened customer expectations for easy and fast access to information. Frequent password-associated data breaches are another reason for broader adoption as companies look for ways to better protect customer data. According to Opus Research, there will be more than a half billion voiceprints by 2020.

Types of Voice Biometrics

Voice biometric authentication can be accomplished using text-dependent speaker recognition or text-independent voice verification.

Text dependent voice verification is where a person speaks a specific passphrase, usually consisting of two to three words, like “My voice is my passphrase.”
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Text independent voice verification is a passive voice biometric approach whereby the user can say anything, enabling authentication to quickly happen in the background during their normal interaction with an agent, IVR, or application.
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About IDVoice

IDVoice by ID R&D is a robust AI-driven voice biometric engine that provides both text dependent and text independent voice verification for mobile web and telephone channels, as well as physical access. The product is built on an innovative Convolutional Neural Network and advanced modified x-vector approach for feature extraction technology for unmatched accuracy and is ranked #1 in the industry’s leading benchmark challenge.

IDVoice is language independent, works with ultra-short utterances and has the smallest footprint available. Download the IDVoice product collateral or visit our IDVoice Text Dependent Verification and IDVoice Text Independent Verification pages to learn more.

Threats to Voice Verification systems

While voice biometrics offers a secure way to authenticate users, it is not immune to threats. Advances in machine learning, recording technology and synthetic speech are enabling high quality voice spoofing, or voice “deepfakes” that are capable of tricking humans and voice biometrics systems into thinking they are hearing a real person. These attacks can be used to gain unauthorized access to accounts.

Combatting voice spoofing requires liveness detection technology, capable of distinguishing between a live voice and a recorded, synthetic or computer generated version of the voice. You can learn more about voice anti-spoofing here.

Want to learn more?

Unlike other solutions, ID R&D’s core voice verification technology works in any language without retraining, works across channels with a calibration setting, and is designed from the beginning to be noise-tolerant. Ready to learn more about our voice authentication solutions?