Hearing is believing with voice recognition

May 30, 2018

A solid majority (81%) of Americans believe there are benefits to using voice recognition for secure identification, based on a survey sponsored by Pindrop.

However, 94% of the 3,000 U.S. adults contacted online by The Harris Poll, which conducted the survey on behalf of Pindrop, believe there may be drawbacks.

Among the survey respondents, the following percentages mentioned that they were wary of specific flaws that could hamper such a system:

  • 61%: May not work well because of background noise (channel independence;
  • 60%: May not work accurately every time (low energy efficiency rating;
  • 48%: Voice can be cloned to defraud end users (voice spoofing);
  • 43%: System may have difficulty recognizing accents;
  • 39%: May not be secure;
  • 36%: Requires you to speak loudly and clearly (channel independence); and
  • 31%: Lack of information on how voice as personal verification works.

Still, consumers say they are dissatisfied with current security methods and a new platform, such as voice identification, may be needed.

More than one in four Americans who have accessed an account at either a healthcare company (28%) or a TV/telecom company (27%) by phone expressed frustration with their experience.

They cite burdensome requirements to answer numerous identity verification questions is the cause of this difficulty for over one-quarter of them (28%). In fact, nearly one in five (18%) said they have,a t times, forgotten the answers to their security questions and, therefore, have been locked out of their accounts.

We are ushering in a new era of passive voice authentication that will create opportunities for brands to interact with their customers,” said Scott Rose, SVP of Product, at Atlanta-based Pindrop, adding, “As consumers go beyond heir phones and increase interactions with voice activated devices, it is crucial not to confuse personalization with security and identification.”

The study also assessed consumer engagement with financial institutions, retailers, healthcare providers and other major omnichannel organizations. Findings indicate that roughly half of Americans contacted financial service companies (49%), healthcare companies (59%), insurance companies (54%), and telco companies (60%), via phone with a customer service inquiry in the last 12 months.

About one in ten Americans contacted healthcare companies (15%), insurance companies (9%) and financial service companies (11%) via phone more than five times per year.


According to Pindrop, in the emerging conversational economy, brands are reimagining voice activated consumer experiences. Enterprise level security and multi-factor authentication is the necessary next step for all industries creating new opportunities for frictionless customer experiences. As more channels become voice-activated, fraudsters will leverage emerging technologies such as voice synthesis to impersonate consumers. Today, the company says, voice fraud costs organizations in the U.S. $14 billion each year within call centers alone.

Research contact: pr@pindrop.com

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