New voice technology will identify South African fraudsters in real time

The South African Fraud Prevention Service (SAFPS) has entered into an agreement with OneVault to use its LumenVox Passive Voice Biometric and Fraud Scanner Authentication Platform.

This solution allows members of the SAFPS to confirm the identity of callers by automatically matching their voice against previously enrolled voiceprints.

“Just as two people do not have the same fingerprints, no two people have the same voice or manner of speaking,” explained the SAFPS.

“Voice biometrics uses someone’s unique vocal characteristics including pitch, tone, and rhythm of speech to identify them in the same way other biometric technologies use fingerprints or retinal scans.”

Easily identify fraudsters

The voiceprints of known fraudsters will also be kept by the SAFPS, and this database will continue to be built in real time.

Additionally, calls between contact centres and legitimate callers will be used to create a voiceprint of the caller.

This means that contact centre staff will easily be able to determine whether the person they are talking to is who they claim to be, or if they are a fraudster.

Executive Director of the SAFPS Manie van Schalkwyk said the advantages of this new technology are obvious.

“Not only can our members be sure that they are either talking to the correct person, or identify a potential fraudster, they can also offer a new, desperately needed, level of customer service,” explained van Schalkwyk.

“If rolled out properly, call centre agents won’t have to go through the normal security checks when talking to a customer.”

This will also make the credit application process simpler and safer, it said.

This is because credit providers can run their Know Your Customer checks in real time and can respond appropriately.

Real-time response

Traditionally, a major trend in the battle against fraud has been that the crime is often only detected after the criminals have defrauded a victim.

However, this new solution will ensure that fraudsters can be identified immediately.

“Using passive voice authentication in combination with real-time watchlist functionality will allow the SAFPS to make use of real-time identification to verify whether they are talking to the correct person and if this person appears on a current or known watchlist,” said Business Development and Strategy Head at OneVault, Vanda Dickson.

“This is a major development in the fight against fraud. As the custodians of fraud prevention in the country, the SAFPS is not only increasing its relevance, but it is adding significant value to its members at a time when it is desperately needed.”

The SAFPS said it has been in talks with OneVault for a long time on the various opportunities for voice biometrics, and believes that OneVault is the front runner in terms of voice biometrics in the country.

System rollout

The SAFPS said the rollout of its new system will be complete by the end of June 2020, and will be implemented into its own organisation.

This solution will facilitate all of the SAFPS’s current communications via its Pivotal Data telephony solution as well as the integration of the passive voice biometric solution.

The SAFPS will then be in a position to “initiate innovation and provide enhanced services” to its customers.

“Including Fraud Scanner within our infrastructure and allowing our members to both provide and access the Shared Imposter Voicebank, we are building huge value and an offering that we believe our members will want to participate in,” said the SAFPS.

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New voice technology will identify South African fraudsters in real time