Banks Use Callers’ Voiceprints to Fight Fraud

Computers with voice recognition are being used–sometimes discreetly–to add extra security during calls with customers. (Inc.)

“We lost everything,” she said. “Can you send me a card to where we’re staying now?”

The card nearly was sent. But as the woman poured out her story, a computer compared the biometric features of her voice against a database of suspected fraudsters. Not only was the caller not the person she claimed to be, “she” wasn’t even a woman. The program identified the caller as a male impostor trying to steal the woman’s identity.

The mechanics of how the banks are using voice analysis are pretty interesting. By focusing on known or suspected fraudsters, it reminds me a little bit of the Nevada Gaming Commission’s Excluded Person List.

India to require fingerprints before issuing SIM card

Soon You Will Require Fingerprints To Buy A SIM Card (SiliconIndia)

To put an end to the unauthorized distribution and access of SIM cards by fraudsters, the home ministry has asked Department of Telecommunication to explore various measures to take biometric details including fingerprints by cell phone service providers before activating the connection.

India isn’t alone. Pakistan is considering a similar requirement for purchasing a SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) card as a way of more definitively tying mobile phones to their purchasers.

Nigeria implemented a similar system beginning in 2010.

There are several reasons that countries want to do this. Most are related to making it easier (or even possible) to investigate crime. Mobile phones are critically important tools in criminal enterprises such as ransoming kidnapping victims and organized robbery. Terrorists depend upon mobile phones both for communication and to detonate explosive devices: Tele-operators briefed on biometric system (The Nation)

“NADRA being the sole custodian of biometrics of over 96 percent total population of the country, has offered the biometric solution in the wake of Interior Ministry’s grave security concerns over the use of cellular devices in terrorist plots,” the spokesperson said. It should be noted that on December 1, 2012, the Prime Minister, after taking notice of insecure sales mechanism for issuance of SIMs, directed all telecom companies to employ biometric verification for SIMs issuance within two months’ time.

Pakistan may require a fingerprint check to purchase a cell phone

Pakistan is considering requiring a fingerprint check as part of the process of purchasing a SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) card as a way of more definitively tying mobile phones to their purchasers.

Nigeria implemented a similar system beginning in 2010.

There are several reasons that countries would want to do this, most related to making it easier (or even possible) to investigate crime. Mobile phones are critically important tools in such criminal enterprises as ransoming kidnapping victims and organized robbery. Terrorists depend upon mobile phones both for communication and to detonate explosive devices.

Tele-operators briefed on biometric system (The Nation)

“NADRA being the sole custodian of biometrics of over 96 percent total population of the country, has offered the biometric solution in the wake of Interior Ministry’s grave security concerns over the use of cellular devices in terrorist plots,” the spokesperson said. It should be noted that on December 1, 2012, the Prime Minister, after taking notice of insecure sales mechanism for issuance of SIMs, directed all telecom companies to employ biometric verification for SIMs issuance within two months’ time.

Biometric Chat on Voice Biometrics June 14

UPDATE June 14, 2012: @m2sys has put a transcript of today’s biometric chat up at Storify

When: June 14, 2012

11:00 am EDT, 8:00 am PDT, 16:00 pm BST, 17:00 pm (CEST), 23:00 pm (SGT), 0:00 (JST)

Where: tweetchat.com/room/biometricchat (or Twitter hashtag #biometricchat)

What: Tweet chat on voice biometrics.

Topics: The science behind voice biometric technology, technical challenges, non-telephone-based voice applications, market applications, and customer impact.

More information at the M2SYS blog.

I always enjoy these.

Tune in, dial up, surf over (or do whatever it is you do to navigate the interwebs) and join in the conversation.

Who Said That? Voice Biometrics for Caller Authentication

That Wasn’t Me (IVR Deconstructed) 

Voice biometrics are numerical models of characteristics (like the sound, pattern, and rhythm) within an individual’s voice, and are represented in a voiceprint of spoken qualities.

The technology often acts as a quick, convenient, and secure method of remotely determining an individual’s identity. So why haven’t more organizations integrated these functionalities into their IVR systems?

Click the link for the answer in a really good and concise post about voice biometrics. I’d also encourage you to check out other content at IVR Deconstructed, especially posts by Lisa, for even more thoughtful material on voice biometrics, privacy and logical access control.

In case you’re wondering, IVR stands for Interactive Voice Response. I have a name for the IVR technology used by call centers: The Robot Lady. You may also know it as the beast that can only be slain by frantically and repeatedly pressing zero.

See also: Voice Biometrics and ID Management in Call Centers

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