Canadian financial services firm Manulife has implemented a speech and voice recognition system for customer identification. In doing so Manulife says it has become the first company in Canada to introduce both natural language understanding and voice biometric technologies in one system, which it calls an interactive voice response (IVR) system.
The new IVR system can recognize both English- and French-language speech – very apt for the bilingual country in which it’s based. Enrollment in the identification system is optional, but those who do enroll will find a much more convenient experience when accessing their accounts through the company’s call center; they need only to say “at Manulife my voice is my password” in English or French for authentication, allowing them to forget about PINs, passwords, and so on.
As in other similar deployments, the system is seen as both a security upgrade and an improvement to the customer experience. In a statement announcing the system, Manulife Canada CEO Marianne Harrison called it “customer-focused technology” that “provides a more natural, faster, and more enhanced customer experience within our call centres.”
The technology was provided by voice biometrics specialist Nuance Communications, a specialist in voice biometrics technologies. While Nuance has performed numerous similar deployments, it has also branched off into automotive applications as well as solutions for the nascent Internet of Things.