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Speaker Recognition for caller authentication in IVR

What is Speaker Verification
Speaker verification, also known as speaker recognition, can be defined as process of authenticating ones claimed identity by comparing their voice and previously recorded or computed speech characteristics (voiceprint, which is as unique as finger print ). While speech recognition is widely used in IVR, speaker verification or recognition is different than speech recognition and is relatively recent addition to numerous usage of IVR systems.

Speaker verification is one of the recent and advanced IVR feature which is increasingly being used some IVR applications where personal identification is very important, for example, Banking, attendance registration etc. Speaker recognition can also be thought as a e-signature for verifying identity electronically.

How it can be used in IVR ?

As the name suggests, speaker verification is essentially used for authentication a IVR caller to manage his account. Since now, IVR systems have been authenticating its caller with ‘password’ or PIN ( Personal Identification Number) by pressing telephone keys or DTMF or even speech recognition.

Normally, while using speaker recognition for user authentication, IVR caller is asked to speak a random phrase which is compared with caller’s existing voice print. This is a quicker process for user authentication.

Advantages of Speaker Verification

The age-old IVR user authentication method of asking caller to enter a 4 digit ( or 5 digit) PIN is slow as well as it needs to changed periodically. But with usage of speaker recognition, authentication process is faster and IVR may ask a caller to speak any phrase randomly without user having to remember PIN or keep changing it periodically.

Another method of caller verification was using ANI (Automatic Number Identification) or Caller ID. But though detection of caller ID is fool proof, but this kind of user authentication may not be fool proof as anybody could dial from user’s phone number. But speaker recognition with voice print does not suffer from these drawbacks. Speaker recognition along with speech recognition may provide almost fool prof user authentication.

How it helps usability of IVR

With speaker recognition, customer details could be retrieved quickly from CRM ( Customer Resource Management) and many routine questions to a caller could be avoided. Caller would be happier not having to repeat his information each time he calls to the IVR.

Since it authenticates a caller much faster, it can provider any service quicker to the caller and usability of the IVR increases.

Many people may feel frustrated having to enter PIN or change it periodically for security reasons. But with speaker recognition, a caller just has to speak a given phrase and can authenticate herself. Many people. specially the one, who use call center or IVR rarely, may forget PIN. With speaker recognition, user does not need to remember any PIN or change the PIN periodically.

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  • Gopi April 22, 2010, 2:03 pm

    I developed IVR system based on DTMF. And I developed Speech Recognition Application Separately. Both are working fine. but I have to incorporate speech Recognition to my IVR system. Anybody have idea about how to assign my voice channels. To listen my engine.

  • Uttam Pegu April 22, 2010, 2:38 pm

    Hi Gopi,
    Are you using MRCP for speech recognition or MS SAPI ?

  • Gopi April 22, 2010, 3:25 pm

    hi Uttam pegu,
    Thanks for your reply. I am using java speech API. if its possiable to using Microsoft SAPI i am ready to convert my application.

  • Keith May 11, 2011, 5:47 pm

    We’d like to implement this (SVI) in Asterisk – any ideas where to start?