Three ways voice can help banks' prevent fraud

Updated: Jun 17 2014, 21:09pm hrs
Voice biometricsVoice biometric systems can provide significant benefits to the contact centre. (Thinkstock)
Contact centres in the financial industry are vulnerable to professional fraudsters, whose systematic attacks account for the majority of total fraud calls. Some contact centres are responding with a new generation of voice biometric systems that silently detect known fraudster voices during incoming calls. The goal of these new systems is to increase fraud protection without disturbing customer experience.

Behind the professional fraudsters success is the weakness of the security question paradigm. Todays fraudsters buy stolen identities and leverage social networks to answer most security and out-of-wallet questions. Fraudsters also socially engineer agents, who have to play the conflicting roles of customer service (making callers happy) and security (being suspicious of callers). By repeatedly and systematically calling, fraudsters learn enough to pressure agents into security breaches. In fact, studies at various contact centres find that 70%-95% of total fraud calls are repeat attacks by a small set of professional fraudsters. Contact centre fraud is a classic 80/20 problem most fraud calls are by a minority of the bad callers.

Such voice biometric systems can provide significant benefits to the contact centre.

Stronger fraud protection These systems can significantly reduce fraud dollar losses and the number of fraud attacks. Thats because voice-print screening detects repeat calls by known voices, and repeat calls constitute the majority of fraud attacks on the call centre. Therefore, the system is able to subvert the majority of these attacks, which lowers losses due to fraudulent calls and ultimately discourages those fraudsters, who move on to other banks. The 80/20 rule of contact centre fraud the majority of fraud is frequent repeat calls by a minority of fraudsters makes this a rewarding application for voice print tracking.

Greater fraud visibility and analytics Voice biometric systems have the capability to track an individual fraudsters voice even as it calls across multiple accounts and time. With that tracking capability, the system can become a rich database of fraudster activity and behaviour. The contact centre can gain visibility into fraud patterns or fraudster details that was not possible before. This may translate into insights that can improve contact centre security or efficiency.

Reduced vulnerability to social engineering Although fraudsters can trick or coerce agents, their smooth talk doesnt fool a voice biometric engine. By alerting agents during a call, or by alerting the fraud management system even after an agent has been fooled, the voice biometric system reduces the contact centres vulnerability to social engineering of agents.

As fraudsters have evolved with new technologies and techniques, so should the contact centre evolve its security technology. Call screening against a fraudster voice print database may be a quiet way to augment contact centre security without disturbing customers.

By Mark Lazar, Global Vice President, Enterprise Risk Management, Verint System explains how financial institution avert frauds using voice biometric systems