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A new layer of security for the Contact Centre tackling identity theft

Preventing fraud is in everyone’s interest: the consumer, the bank and the call centre that acts as an intermediary between them. On a longer-term basis, all parties need mutual reassurance that the other half of any transaction is exactly who they say they are. Without it, confidence in the whole system becomes undermined.

Requiring customers to prove their identity is not a new idea; most call centre agents are familiar with identification processes required by anti-money laundering and ‘know your customer’ regulations. Usually a request for two written proofs of address works when opening accounts, but is impractical for daily transactions. The use of passwords and PINs mitigates this but even these are not entirely foolproof, as with a little social engineering and a lot of determination they can easily be circumnavigated.

Having only one layer of security, such as a PIN, is known as single-factor authentication and is dependent on something that the customer knows. But, it is a well-known fact these days that single factor authentication is inadequate for high risk transactions involving access to customer information or the movement of funds to other parties. Existing tools for managing identity need to be enhanced by additional layers of security. Call centres therefore require ‘two-factor’ authentication, otherwise known as MFA, or ‘multi-factor’ authentication.

There are limitations to what can be used in a call centre, where any identity validation methods cannot be allowed to slow down the call-handling process, and reduce the centre’s cost-effectiveness, convenience and efficiency. It therefore needs to be unobtrusive and, ideally, invisible to the customer if they are not to be deterred from using cost-effective telephone-based services.

One alternative is to use something you have: a pass card or secure token, for example. But these are difficult to deploy in a call centre environment – and the ongoing costs involved in replacing the inevitably lost cards make it prohibitively expensive.

Call centres need to look at the third option: something you are. Which is where biometrics come in. Biometrics use unique physical characteristics to identify someone, and in a call centre that means using voice recognition. Call centres and their customers need to understand what their own risk parameters are when using voice biometrics. Other forms of identity management cannot and should not be abandoned completely, even if voice biometrics technology still offers the best chance of keeping the fraudsters at bay.

Find out how TrustCall On Demand and TrustCall Identity can keep your customer and your contact centre secure. Contact us now.

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