Customer sign-ups surpass 1.2 million in Services Australia’s voice biometrics library. Voice biometrics are used by the Australian Taxation Office across its call centre and mobile app as part of the identification process. The Australian-government agency has seen a remarkable increase in the number of user enrollments after improvements that they have made it easier for customers to register their voiceprint. This has ultimately resulted in an increased number of customers registering voiceprints.
Improvements made by Services Australia
In the past, Services Australia has been criticized and avoided by Australians for their long wait times for getting connected with Centrelink. Centrelink is a master program by Services Australia that takes care of government payments and services. For any issues regarding payments, services and voiceprint registration, customers can reach out to its call centre. Services Australia made it a point to fix this by optimizing their processes, employing the latest technology and increasing staff. This resulted in a reduction of busy signals by a whopping 45% as compared to the previous financial year, as per their Annual Report 2018-19.
How does the Services Australia voiceprint authentication work?
The voiceprints allow customers to confirm their identity when on the phone with the Services Australia call centre by repeating the phrase “in Australia my voice identifies me”. To verify the identity, their voice is compared with a stored voiceprint that captures about 140 unique characteristics of a person. These are behavioural and physical characteristics like the pitch, accent, length of the vocal tract and nasal passage and size and shape of the larynx.
Is voice technology as a biometric safe?
According to Nuance, the agency’s voice biometrics solution provider, the technology can also detect when a voice is recorded or live to stop fraud. It cannot be fooled by an impersonation. “A biometric voiceprint is the strongest level of security available to protect our customers’ information over the phone,” says the agency.
Services Australia has more than 1.2 million voiceprints in its biometrics library now. The agency has improved its processes, more Australians have started trusting and relying on the agency and on the voiceprint technology itself.
Services Australia (2019) “Annual Report 2018-19” [Online] available from https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/sites/default/files/annual-report-191019-v2.pdf [acesses 2019]
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