Biometric authentication for Call Centres.

It’s fair to say that contacting call centres, in particular Financial Institutions, are never a pleasant experience. It’s hard to get through the IVR and even harder to get through the security questions to prove who you say you are. Knowledge based details such as mother’s maiden name, date of birth, present and past address, last 2 transactions, alternate contact number, favourite cartoon and so on are used to prove ones identity.  Yet a recent study has stated that the global call centre fraud has increased by 45% in the last three years. Fraudsters are increasingly, and with alarming success, using social engineering to get through the security checks. Despite the friction security questions pose for legitimate customers, Financial Institutions have done little to change this for its perceived safety over other forms of authentication.

Could biometrics such as “who you are” replace “what you know” as a form of frictionless authentication? This is precisely the question we had in mind when we rolled out our face recognition solution for call centres. But we wanted to make the whole process frictionless. In other words come up with a convenient and easy way to prove who you are even before the call is connected. And the customer services agent is not obliged to ask any further details to establish your identity.

So how does this work? You enrol for this service on the Bank’s mobile App and that’s that.  And when there is a need to talk to a customer services representative, all you need to do is tap on the “Speak to Support” and the phone will request for a selfie. The selfie is then used to match against the previously enrolled face and authenticates you even before the call is connected. All this happens in a few seconds. And as soon as the call is connected, the support agent is also notified that the customer has been authenticated. A natural conversation can begin immediately rather than spending the first few minutes proving your identity.


This method in no way takes away the all-important security that is needed to protect customers in a Bank. It still adds two factor authentication as mandated by most regulators. The first factor is the customer’s phone which is registered with the Bank and the second factor is the customer’s biometric facial features which are unique.  And it adds a great deal of convenience to both the customer and the customer support staff as a friendly tone can be struck immediately.  Imagine the possibilities now.

About FRS Labs: From preventing fraud to verifying identity, we help organizations onboard and retain good customers. Our patent pending solutions can be quickly integrated into existing web and mobile applications.


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