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The contact center is the front line in fraud prevention

A number of mature technologies, including voice biometrics and disposable apps, are available to help protect customers and institutions.

Jul 19, 2023 / Fraud Prevention

Labor shortages and a troubling economy have led to short-staffed and often undertrained employees in bank contact centers – the front line in fraud prevention. With pressure among financial institutions to quickly hire and train agents to handle an ever-increasing volume of customer service requests, vulnerabilities are exposed that can put confidential customer information at risk.

In today’s highly competitive market, banks must strike a balance between effectively fighting fraud and delivering exceptional customer interactions – a challenge as tighter fraud and customer protection controls typically add friction to the experience.

Banks can overcome the challenge of minimizing fraud and reducing costs while maintaining customer satisfaction and loyalty by applying a holistic customer service strategy that combines the right technology with supportive processes and well-trained agents.

There are a number of mature technologies available to help combat fraud across the contact center. Examples of these include voice biometrics; adoption of novel digital solutions like disposable apps; innovative offerings that leverage customer-friendly, AI technologies like conversational AI; and working with outsourced PCI-certified providers for more stringent security controls.

Voice biometrics: Voice biometrics uses an analysis of a person’s voice as a distinctive characteristic to enable identity verification. The technology saves a sample of a user’s speech input, much like how a smartphone stores a user’s fingerprint for authentication. Voice biometrics software separates the audio message into several frequencies when the user speaks into it and compares them with the sample that is already saved in the system.

By using voice biometrics for customers authentication, banks can ensure that agents do not divulge personal information to a fraudster posing as a customer. The technology could also automatically pull up contextual client information, so customers don’t have to repeat themselves once they do reach an agent.

Disposable apps: Disposable apps provide a secure, streamlined way for customers to transact via digital channels. With permission, agents can share an app that enables a customer to conduct a financial transaction – the app disappears after the transaction is complete without the agent ever seeing confidential customer information.

For example, a customer tells a contact center agent that he wants to make a deposit into his retirement plan. Rather than the customer needing to provide confidential information, the agent can ask him if he’s using a mobile phone and, if so, can send him an app that opens on his device and allows him to conduct the transaction. Because the customer initiated the discussion, he knows it’s coming from a trusted source and channel, and once the transaction is complete and the customer closes the app, it’s gone.

Conversational AI: Conversational AI enables consumers to interact with computer applications as they would with humans, similar to our experiences with digital assistants in the home. With conversational AI-powered virtual agents in their contact centers, banks can securely authenticate customers, automate interactions and bolster customer satisfaction.

For example, one bank managing a large volume of customer requests for account information, payments and other sensitive transactions needed an efficient and secure way to handle these requests while providing a personalized experience to each customer. A conversational AI-powered virtual agent was designed to guide customers through the process of authenticating and verifying their identity, securely retrieving account information and processing payments.

The conversational AI solution resulted in nearly 100% of customers successfully authenticated and a personalized experience for each customer, which helped build brand loyalty and increase customer satisfaction.

PCI-certified providers: Any business that accepts, stores, processes or transmits credit card information must adhere to a strict set of regulations mandated by the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). Following these should make organizations more resistant to breaches of cardholder data. It applies to all payment processors.

It’s very challenging and costly for a bank to establish and maintain PCI DSS certification internally. Given this, working with PCI DSS-certified providers can reinforce security while removing the transaction processing burden.

A bank’s contact center should be the heart of meaningful engagement, resolution and satisfaction for customers. It should be so seamless and efficient that it becomes an extension of a bank’s brand experience and a trusted entry point for customers. Accomplishing that while minimizing fraud takes a skilled blend of technology and processes.

Carlton Perkins is principal solutions consultant at Waterfield Technologies.