News: Hello, it’s me.
TalkTalk is now offering voice recognition technology for its customers to access their accounts, after the personal details of thousands of its customers got hacked last year.
Customers who call up the company’s support services can now confirm their identity by using the biometric technology implemented by TalkTalk. The technology recognises the identity of customers by processing their voice characteristics.
The technology prepares a blueprint of customer’s voice by asking them to repeat a phrase three times, when a subscriber calls up TalkTalk’s customer service line next time.
With the new feature, named as TalkSafe, customers no longer have to provide personal details such as their password or mother’s maiden name to access their TalkTalk accounts.
TalkSafe will cut the time customers spend on a call and if callers are transferred to a different customer service advisor, they won’t have to repeat their details, as the voice authentication technology will have already verified their identity.
TalkTalk said the technology is one of the safest methods to validate customers’ identity, as it captures over 100 various characteristics of a person’s voice, including the shape of their larynx and nasal passage, alongside pronunciation, emphasis and speed of their speech.
TalkTalk’s consumer managing director Tristia Harrison said: "We’ve listened to what our customers have told us about wanting a simple, secure service. TalkSafe is an important and exciting step on that journey."
Over 100,000 of its subscribers have stopped using TalkTalk’s services following the cyberattack last year. The attack is estimated to cost £60m for the company.
Hackers stole names, email addresses and phone numbers of more than 157,000 customers of the company during the attack. Securing customer data has become a top priority for the company following the attack.
TalkTalk CEO Dido Harding had said: "It is encouraging to see the business returning to normal after a challenging quarter that was dominated by the cyber attack. Our customers have responded well, with almost half a million customers choosing to take up our unconditional offer of a free uprade."
While UK banks are already using voice recognisition technology, TalkTalk said it is the first company to introduce such technology in the telecom sector.
"The launch forms part of TalkTalk’s continual focus on improving customers’ experience and its long term strategy to ensure customer data is as secure as possible," the company said.
"Over time, voice biometrics will reduce the amount of sensitive personal information customers will have to disclose, as when a customer calls, the advisor will only see if the customer is verified or not."
Biometric authentication is fast emerging as a major technology address security issues connected to using passwords for identification.
Recently, Amazon has got a patent for a software that allows usage of selfie photos to verify payments.
Banking major HSBC recently announced that it would introduce voice recognisition technology, as part of its plans to offer biometric banking, Engadget reported.
Biometric identification is a common feature available in smartphones, however, many of them come with fingerprint scanners that verify identify before giving access to the devices or to carry out financial transactions.
Hacking has become a serious issue for companies having heavy amount of customer data, as cyberattacks are expected to touch a new high this year.