TalkTalk introduces voice biometrics

  • First UK telecoms provider and UK business outside of the banking sector to roll out voice biometric technology
  • All 4 million TalkTalk customers will be able to use their voice as their password
  • ‘TalkSafe’ set to bring shorter calls and more efficient service

TalkTalk has become the first UK telecoms provider to roll out voice biometric technology.

From today all four million TalkTalk customers can access their accounts over the telephone by using their voice as their password instead of providing personal details to prove their identity.

The new feature, called TalkSafe, uses the same advanced voice biometric technology employed by leading banks. It identifies customers by analysing over a hundred unique characteristics of their voice including the shape of larynx, vocal tract and nasal passage, alongside pronunciation, emphasis and speed of their speech.

TalkSafe will reduce the time customers spend on a call and if callers are transferred to a different customer service advisor, they won’t have to repeat their details, as the voice authentication technology will have already verified their identity.

The launch forms part of TalkTalk’s continual focus on improving customers’ experience and its long term strategy to ensure customer data is as secure as possible. Over time, voice biometrics will reduce the amount of sensitive personal information customers will have to disclose, as when a customer calls, the advisor will only see if the customer is verified or not.

Tristia Harrison, TalkTalk’s consumer managing director, said: “We’ve listened to what our customers have told us about wanting a simple, secure service. TalkSafe is an important and exciting step on that journey.”

“As the first UK telecoms provider to roll out voice biometrics as standard, we’re proud to be leading the way in making this advanced technology accessible to millions of homes across the country at no extra cost.”

How TalkSafe works                                   

When customers next call TalkTalk, they will complete the current verification process. At the end of the conversation they will be given the option to set up TalkSafe by repeating a simple phrase three times, to create a voiceprint. Once the voiceprint is created, each and every time thereafter, the process is as follows:

  1. Call TalkTalk
  2. Say agreed phrase: “With TalkSafe, my voice is my password”
  3. Voice biometric technology analyses the voice and verifies the caller’s identity, enabling the customer service team to assist the customer immediately

As each person’s voice is unique, voice biometric technology is one of the most secure forms of identification.

The launch of voice biometrics is just one of the ways in which TalkTalk is making its service smarter, faster and even more reliable. The value for money provider has recently completed an upgrade programme to increase broadband speeds across its network. It also simplified its engineer tracking service to provide a more specific estimated time of arrival, reducing the need for customers to take a full day off work for engineer appointments. Most recently, independent testing by Which? concluded that the speeds of TalkTalk’s Super Router exceeded that of BT, Virgin Media and Sky’s equivalent routers.