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The voice of the customer

Pindrop’s voice technologies are not just useful for fraud prevention; they also improve the customer experience by enabling people to use their voice instead of passwords and KBAs (knowledge-based authentication questions) to access accounts or verify their identity.

In a newly released Pindrop survey of 2,000 US-based consumers, many respondents said they found existing authentication methods more frustrating than flight delays, rain on a holiday, traffic jams or shovelling snow:

  • 63% find resetting passwords a huge inconvenience; n
  • 5% say they have been stressed out by a digital identity verification system that didn’t work the way they wanted it to, with captchas and multi-factor authentication considered the most inconvenient forms of digital identity verification; and
  • 46% of consumers who have had a bank card stolen felt answering KBAs was frustrating or completely unnecessary when dealing with the issue.

Pindrop warns that dissatisfaction with passwords and KBAs can have a massive effect on a brand’s reputation, irrespective of whether customers’ feelings are justified or not.

For example, one quarter of survey respondents said that when their bank makes them answer KBAs, they view the brand as antiquated and inconvenient.

When they have to answer more than two KBA questions to access an account, respondents admit to feeling frustrated (55%) and annoyed (57%) rather than comforted by (11%) or confident in (9%) the security the brand has in place.

When those surveyed get locked out of their account because of a forgotten password or incorrectly answered KBAs, nearly 10% will abandon the account or brand entirely; 14% will blame the brand for a poor user experience. In contrast, a bank that enables users to authenticate themselves by voice alone is viewed as tech savvy (38%), secure (31%) and trustworthy (28%).

Currently, 43% of consumers surveyed by Pindrop say they use voice technology on a daily basis (70% use it at least once a week), with many eager to see it extended to other areas of their lives, including voice-enabled parental controls on streaming services to protect children from mature content (71%); vehicle locking/unlocking and starting (70%); and accessing bank accounts at the ATM (54%).

Commenting on the findings, Vijay Balasubramaniyan, CEO and Co-founder of Pindrop, said: “As the data indicates, consumers are starting to realise the value of voice-enabled technology and the convenience it can provide. If brands want to remain competitive and build trust with consumers, they’ll need to think about how to integrate this technology to create seamless yet secure customer experiences.”

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