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It’s almost normal now to secure your phone with a fingerprint. But how comfortable are you offering a passcode using your voice?

Voice recognition, also sometimes referred to as voice authentication, is the next big biometric going global. By 2023, there will be 8 billion voice assistants like Siri and Google Home in use worldwide, according to Juniper Research. If you have one in your home, you might be comfortable asking it what tomorrow’s weather will be. Or to find out if that really was that Avenger’s guy in a new Netflix special. 

Smart speakers are on the rise, growing by 78% between 2017 and 2018. Our phones come packed with digital assistants like Bixby and others just waiting for us to speak a passphrase to order them into action.

But would you use your voice to verify your identity? There are many questions regarding how voice authentication works, is voice recognition secure, and how voice print technology can aid businesses and customers.  

voice authentication

How Does Voice Authentication Work?

Voice authentication is a biometric method of speaker recognition based on measuring the distinctions in different voices to uniquely identify users. Instead of a password, which might be forgotten or not strong enough to assure security, voice recognition allows people to use their voices themselves as passwords.

There are over 70 body parts that contribute to how a person speaks. Voice recognition technology works by digitizing a person's speech to create a template. This is also known as a stored model voice print. The technology reduces each spoken word to segments composed of dominant frequencies called formants. Each formant has several tones that collectively identify a speaker's unique voice print. These prints are stored in secure databases, just like fingerprints or facial scans. 

A good quality voice print is usually made from reciting a specific text or passphrase. This can be either a verbal phrase or a series of numbers. Just like using a touchpad on your phone a few times so the scanner can capture all angles of your fingerprint, a passphrase is spoken a few times to create a comprehensive sample. When a person uses the passphrase, certain words are compared with the stored voice print. 

Some systems don't rely on stored recordings, and instead are trained to recognize similarities between individuals' voice patterns.

How is Voice Authentication Being Used?

Financial institutions have been a big adopter of voice print technology. Citibank (Citi) uses voice authentication to verify customers within the first few seconds of calling into a help center. It also has the largest deployment of a voice biometric in the U.S. as of 2016.2

Citi started using the technology so that customer service representatives could skip tedious questions about customer’s pets, favorite sports teams, or a sibling’s current place of residence. The technology, provided through NICE, identifies 130 different physical and behavioral characteristics within a person’s vocal pattern in real-time, over just a few seconds. As of 2017, Citi reported enrolling a million Asian Pacific customers into their voice authentication program.3

Another example is the $1.2 billion Kennebunk Savings Bank in Maine. When the bank detected fraudulent calls to its call center several times per day, it deployed voice authentication. Customers opted into the program and recorded a short 30-45 second clip of themselves. This allowed Kennebunk to identify a customer within two to three seconds and shorten the length of time needed to verify and validate who’s calling.

Kennebunk reported 1,400 customers signing up for the program and that several fraud attempts were halted with the technology.

Overall, voice authentication helps banks and other businesses offer a more convenient customer experience for their clients while helping to fight fraud.

voice authentication security

How Secure is Voice Recognition?

But does that convenience come at the cost of security? There have been numerous stories in the news about hackers being able to infiltrate homes and businesses to the detriment of their owners using voice recognition security issues. As with any safety measure, believing that just one measure on its own is foolproof is foolhardy.

There’s still some ways to go in achieving absolutely secure voice identification. The current state of voice biometrics is vulnerable. Research has shown that voice samples from something like a YouTube video can be accepted as approved speech patterns. Hackers have been able to bury malicious commands in white noise to control voice-enabled devices.5 

According to Lior Atzi, Director of Product Management at NICE, there are two major technologies being used to combat fraud in voice authentication: liveness detection and continuous authentication.6

Liveness detection, as the name implies, is ensuring that the fingerprint or voice sample being used is real. Some attempts to thwart this security measure are synthetic voices and other implementations of artificial intelligence, but they haven’t yet progressed enough to cause a real threat. 

Continuous authentication repeatedly verifies an individual’s identity over the length of a session, rather than just once. This helps to overcome potential issues like callers changing in the middle of a phone call, or other tricks that a bad actor might use to get into someone’s account. 

What Type of Authentication Factor is Voice Pattern Recognition?

The best way to secure accounts is with several layers of security. There are three types of multi-factor authentication (MFA), also sometimes called two-factor authentication (2FA). MFA and 2FA is a method of login verification where at least two different factors of proof are required, such as a passcode and a biometric. 

Voice recognition is considered a type three MFA, or “something you are.” This includes any part of the human body that can be offered for verification, such as palm scanning, facial recognition, or retina and iris scans. 

MFA is much more difficult for an intruder to overcome. An attack on a system using MFA must overcome several obstacles simultaneously to impersonate the victim. This is extremely difficult, and thus a more resilient login solution.

What are the Benefits of Voice Authentication?

Even with these security concerns, convenience is not the only advantage of voice authentication. So far, it is the only biometric that can enable remote verification. It even allows users to be identified and validated without needing to share personal or confidential information like Social Security numbers over a phone line.

This brings a level of equal support to new demographics such as the elderly and disabled. It  enables them to access accounts without having to remember passwords or answers to obscure questions. 

There’s also no need for special equipment like an expensive camera or external software. All a user needs is an existing phone line, smart phone, or web-based app. This allows businesses to be more inclusive of customers regardless of their ability to understand or own different technologies. 

With a “bring your own device” process, no information needs to be stored on the user’s device as is required to use biometrics like fingerprints. The voice authentication process happens live and is managed by a remote, secure server. 

voice authentication & voice biometrics use cases illustration image

Voice Authentication Use Cases: Fintech, Events & Ticketing, Media and Entertainment

In today's digital age, safeguarding user data and ensuring secure transactions have become paramount in various industries. One such technology that has gained significant traction is voice authentication. By using unique voice characteristics as a biometric identifier, voice authentication provides an additional layer of security to verify users' identities before granting access to sensitive information.

In this part, we will explore the applications of voice authentication in three distinct industries: fintech, events & ticketing, and media & entertainment. Each of these sectors relies heavily on secure transactions and user verification, making them ideal candidates for the implementation of voice authentication technology. We will delve into specific use cases within each industry, highlighting the benefits and challenges associated with integrating voice authentication into the processes of each industry.

Voice biometrics - use cases in Fintech indsutry


Mobile Banking: Speak Your Way to Secure Finances

Mobile banking has revolutionized the way people manage their finances, allowing users to access their accounts, transfer funds, and make payments through their smartphones. With the increasing number of mobile banking users, ensuring the security of financial transactions has become a top priority for banks and financial institutions.

Voice authentication in mobile banking apps provides an additional layer of security, making it more difficult for cybercriminals to gain unauthorized access to users' accounts. By using unique voice characteristics as a biometric identifier, voice authentication verifies the user's identity before granting access to sensitive financial information.

The advantages of using voice authentication in mobile banking include enhanced security, reduced risk of identity theft, and improved user experience. However, there are challenges, such as potential false rejections, privacy concerns, and the need for continuous improvement in voice recognition technology.

Online Trading Platforms: A Safer Way to Invest

Online trading platforms have become increasingly popular, enabling individual investors to trade stocks, bonds, and other financial instruments with just a few clicks. As these platforms handle large volumes of financial transactions daily, ensuring the security of user accounts and transactions is crucial.

Implementing voice authentication in online trading platforms can provide an added layer of security by verifying users' identities before allowing them to execute trades. This helps protect investors from unauthorized transactions and reduces the risk of fraud.

The benefits of incorporating voice authentication into online trading platforms include increased security, more user-friendly verification processes, and reduced likelihood of unauthorized access. Potential drawbacks include technical challenges, privacy concerns, and the possibility of user frustration if the technology fails to recognize their voice accurately.

Peer-to-Peer Payments: The Future of Secure Transactions

Peer-to-peer (P2P) payment platforms have simplified the process of transferring money between individuals, making it easy to split bills, pay friends, or settle debts. As the popularity of these platforms grows, so does the need for robust security measures to protect users from fraud and unauthorized access.

Voice authentication can play a significant role in securing P2P transactions by confirming users' identities before allowing them to send or receive funds. By utilizing voice biometrics, these platforms can offer a seamless and secure user experience while minimizing the risk of fraud.

Ensuring the security and user convenience of P2P transactions is essential for maintaining trust in these platforms. Voice authentication offers a unique solution that balances the need for robust security measures with the demand for a frictionless user experience.

Customer Support: Reinventing Security and Satisfaction

Customer support is a critical aspect of the fintech industry, as it directly affects customer satisfaction and loyalty. Banks and financial institutions must provide a secure and efficient customer support experience while protecting sensitive customer information.

Integrating voice authentication into customer service calls can help verify the caller's identity and streamline the support process. By confirming the caller's identity using their unique voice characteristics, support agents can quickly access relevant customer information without requiring lengthy verification procedures.

Improving customer satisfaction and security through voice authentication in customer support calls not only enhances the overall customer experience but also reduces the risk of fraud and unauthorized access to customer data.

Voice biometrics - use cases in Event Ticketing indsutry

Events & Ticketing

Ticket Purchases: Goodbye to Fraud?

The process of purchasing tickets for events, concerts, and sports games has largely moved online, providing a convenient and efficient way for consumers to secure their spots. However, this shift to digital platforms has also opened the door for fraudsters to exploit vulnerabilities and engage in illicit activities like ticket scalping and counterfeit ticket sales.

Integrating voice authentication into the ticket-purchasing process can help mitigate these risks by ensuring that the buyer's identity is verified before the transaction is completed. This added layer of security not only reduces the likelihood of fraudulent transactions but also improves the overall user experience by streamlining the ticket-purchasing process.

Event Check-in: The Future of Seamless Entry

At large-scale events, efficient check-in procedures are essential for ensuring smooth operations and a positive experience for attendees. Traditional check-in methods, such as scanning physical tickets or checking names on a guest list, can be time-consuming and error-prone.

Implementing voice authentication for event check-ins can significantly improve the efficiency of the process by allowing attendees to confirm their identities using their unique voice characteristics. This technology can expedite the check-in process, reduce wait times, and minimize the risk of unauthorized entry.

VIP Access: Exclusivity Amplified

For exclusive events and VIP areas, maintaining strict access control is vital to ensure a premium experience for high-profile guests. Traditional access control methods, such as wristbands or physical badges, can be easily lost, stolen, or counterfeited, compromising the security and exclusivity of the event.

Voice authentication offers a more secure and reliable solution for managing VIP access. By utilizing the guests' unique voice biometrics to verify their identity, event organizers can maintain a higher level of security and exclusivity while providing a seamless and convenient experience for VIP guests.

The integration of voice authentication in the events and ticketing industry offers several key benefits, including improved security, streamlined processes, and enhanced user experiences. As the technology continues to advance and gain widespread adoption, it's likely that more event organizers will embrace voice authentication as a standard practice for managing access and ticket sales.

Voice authentication - use cases in Media and Entertainment indsutry

Media and Entertainment

Streaming Services: Personalization Meets Privacy

The rise of streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Spotify has revolutionized the way people consume media, by offering personalized and on-demand content. As these platforms handle sensitive user data and provide tailored recommendations, ensuring secure access to user profiles is crucial.

Implementing voice authentication for user profiles on streaming services can enhance security and privacy by verifying users' identities based on their unique voice characteristics. This helps protect user accounts from unauthorized access and provides a more personalized experience by allowing users to switch profiles quickly and easily.

Gaming Platforms: Leveling Up Security

Online gaming platforms, such as Steam, Xbox Live, and PlayStation Network, have become increasingly popular as they provide gamers with access to a vast array of digital games and interactive experiences. With the growing number of users and the potential for in-game purchases, securing user accounts and transactions is of the utmost importance.

Voice authentication can be integrated into gaming platforms to provide a secure and user-friendly experience. By using voice biometrics to verify users' identities, gaming platforms can reduce the risk of account hijacking and fraud, ensuring a safe environment for gamers to enjoy their favorite titles.

Smart TVs and Devices: The Future of Personalized Entertainment

Smart TVs and devices, such as Amazon's Fire TV and Google's Chromecast, have transformed the way we consume media, offering users the ability to stream content from various sources directly to their television screens. Since these devices often store sensitive user information and enable access to multiple streaming services, ensuring users have a secure and personalized experience is essential.

Voice authentication can be integrated into smart TVs and devices to provide a more secure and convenient way for users to access their content. By verifying users' identities based on their unique voice characteristics, these devices can offer personalized recommendations and settings while maintaining a high level of security and privacy.

The media and entertainment industry stands to benefit significantly from the integration of voice authentication technology. By providing a secure and personalized experience for users across streaming services, gaming platforms, and smart devices, voice authentication can help protect sensitive user data and improve overall user satisfaction. As the technology continues to evolve, it's likely that we'll see even more innovative applications of voice authentication within the media and entertainment sector.

Best Practices

As with any security method, there are some basic best practices that organizations should follow to assure their clients’ information isn’t at risk.

  • Establish a primary authentication method before any other method; this means choose one form of validation, be it a PIN, passcode, or biometric, before agreeing to using more authentications.
  • Acquire explicit consent of the intended use from users for the security measure; for example, agreement of using facial recognition to enable payment transactions. 
  • Require the primary authentication method every 72 hours. 
  • Use a completely secure pipeline for all biometric data and handling. 
  • Keep all biometric data in a secure, isolated environment to prevent its acquisition by fraudsters. 

Using the above steps provides a great baseline for any company to keep their clients’ information safe. It also provides a foundation to start adding more levels of authentication to create an even stronger verification system.


Voice print authentication is likely to grow in popularity because of improvements in accuracy, caused largely by advances in AI. This growth is also due to heightened customer expectations for quick, easy access to information. Voice biometrics enables fast, frictionless and highly secure access for a range of use cases from call centers, mobile, and online applications, to chatbots, IoT devices, and physical access.

Voice authentication is revolutionizing how we secure our digital lives, but is it secure enough to replace traditional passwords? At Softjourn, we specialize in software development for finance and understand the importance of robust security measures. Explore our expertise in creating innovative, secure solutions, and let's work together to enhance the safety of your financial systems. Contact us today to learn how we can help you implement cutting-edge voice authentication technology.

The convenience and security it offers makes it a verification method that will only increase in use across industries.


1Juniper Research. (2019, December). Digital Voice Assistants
2Groenfeldt, T. Forbes. (2016, June). Citi Uses Voice Prints To Authenticate Customers Quickly and effortlessly.
3Citibank. (2017, March).  Citi Tops 1 Million Mark for Voice Biometrics Authentication for Asia Pacific Consumer Banking Clients.
4ABA Banking Journal. (2019, June).  Podcast: How Voice Biometric Authentication Improves Bank CX.
5Tektonika. (2019, November). The future of voice recognition security.
6Atzi, L. (2018, May). Can You Fool Voice Biometrics?