DBS looks to improve caller experience with voice authentication

DBS is looking to improve the experience of callers into its customer centre by introducing biometric authentication in Singapore.

This technology leverages the fact that humans have a unique voice print, similar to the fingerprint, which can be used to verify the customer. Its introduction will further reduce the time customers spend on authentication by between 20 and 40 seconds. Instead of having to remember passwords and answers to security questions, customers can be verified in 15 seconds or less as they speak to customer service officers (CSOs).

Lena Low, executive director of customer centre at DBS said, “This is really about making banking joyful and delighting our customers. Voice biometrics is also more secure as customers do not have to worry about remembering their PIN or speaking about personal information in public when on the phone with CSOs.”

She explained customers with a sore throat or who have to speak in a noisy area would still be verifiable as their voices are profiled by a number of identifiers such as speed of speech, cadence and pronunciation. Voice print cannot be reverse engineered once stored.

Jeremy Soo, head of consumer banking group (Singapore) at DBS, “We design our banking services to be innovative and nimble to address customer needs, as well as to provide an intuitive and interactive banking experience. With voice biometrics, customers will no longer need to remember different passwords and answers to security questions. We seek to seamlessly integrate banking into our customers’ everyday lives and this new capability will offer them an effortless and more secure way to access banking services.”

The initiative follows on from the bank’s launch of an enhanced dynamic interactive voice response (IVR) system at the customer centre in December 2015. Customers who find themselves in urgent situations such as when their credit card transaction is rejected, need not worry about having to go through tedious menu options.

They will immediately be routed to the bank’s CSOs, skipping all menu options. The CSOs will have all the information related to the event on screen, sparing customers the need to explain their situation, and there is less anxiety on their part.

Voice biometrics and IVR will save DBS customers a significant amount of time given the bank receives more than five million calls each year from its consumer banking customers in Singapore. This is in line with the bank’s belief in making banking convenient for customers so they can live more – that is, do the things that matter to them.