- The Washington Times - Monday, October 13, 2014

Both businesses and governments worldwide are turning to voice biometrics as a way of weeding out would-be fraudsters and keeping data and material thefts at bay.

“There’s no need for a call center agent to know your name, your mother’s maiden name, your inside leg measurement or whatever,” said Cline Summerfield, with the Sydney-based Auraya Systems, the company that’s supplying the Bank of New Zealand with the voice identification technology, the Miami Herald reported. “The machine can verify that this voice belongs to this account and that’s all you need to know.”

In addition to the Bank of New Zealand, Canada’s TD Bank Group and the National Australia Bank Ltd. are trying out the new technology with customers.

California’s VoiceVault is giving customers and businesses the ability to use “vocal signatures” for documents and contracts, the Miami Herald said. The technology simply allows users to speak into a telephone and follow the prompts and shortly after, their documents are vocally signed — a system that’s seen as quicker and cost-efficient, as it cuts down on paperwork and the need for in-person signings.

“The countersigning can be done by somebody on a golf course,” said Nik Stanbridge, a former VoiceVault worker, The Associated Press reported.

Meanwhile, FST Biometrics in Israel has turned to voice biometrics to secure everything from airports to apartment buildings, the Miami Herald reported.

“The voice biometric replaces what we used to use for a PIN code or a RFID [swipe] card,” said FST Biometrics executive Shahar Belkin, in the Miami Herald. “We found it to be much more user-friendly and at the same time, much more secure.”

And back in the United States, the Georgia-based AnyTrax uses voice biometrics to monitor prison parolees deemed low-risk. The technology works by placing automated calls to the parolee’s home and requiring him or her to repeat random sets of numbers into the telephone.

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