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Australian Consumers Prefer Voice Authentication for Identity Verification

  • 20 May, 2008 10:40

<p><b>SYDNEY, Australia, 19 May 2008</b> – Nuance Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: NUAN) today announced that Australian consumers feel the use of voice biometric authentication is the most secure means of verifying personal identity over the phone. Harris Interactive, a global leader in custom market research conducted the study on behalf of Nuance to uncover Australian consumers’ attitudes towards voice verification and their level of concern over the security of their personal data.</p>
<p>“As consumers look for improved security for their personal information they’ve come to view voice verification as more secure than the traditional means of authentication most often used today,” commented Peter Chidiac, Managing Director, Australia and New Zealand, Nuance Communications.</p>
<p>“The slated changes to the Australian Privacy Act that will put us in line with current data breach notification legislation in the US and Europe are prompting customer-facing organisations to take adequate steps to ensure their authentication methods are robust and that their customers feel secure doing business with them. This study clearly points to biometric voice authentication as one of the key security options open to companies, with consumers indicating that they actually prefer to do business over the phone with companies offering voice verification.”</p>
<p>Results include the fact that nearly half of consumers don’t feel secure that they are the only person who could access their account though customer service and one-third of people want better protection of their personal information when calling customer service departments. Six in ten (61 percent) Australian consumers feel that voice verification is a secure, very secure or extremely secure form of identity verification. Approximately half or more of consumers feel that voice verification is more secure than the other authentication methods that can be used over the phone, including home phone number, memorable information, password, PINs and account information.</p>
<p>The research findings also suggest that voice verification is viewed as a business differentiator with over two-fifths (44 percent) of those surveyed agreeing, including very strongly and strongly, that they prefer to do business with a company providing voice verification solutions. An additional 21 percent of respondents somewhat agreed.</p>
<p>Additional findings include:
• While consumers want improved data protection, they also want it to be convenient. So it’s not surprising, with more than half of respondents indicating that they forget their password half or some of the time, that the convenience of having less security information to remember was one of the highest ranked perceived benefits of voice verification technologies, second only to combating identity theft.</p>
<p>• After listening to an audio of how the voice verification process would work during a customer service call – 59 percent said they would be likely, very or extremely likely to use voice verification.</p>
<p>This biometrics survey was conducted online and via phone within Australia by Harris Interactive on behalf of Nuance in April and May 2008. There were 418 respondents, all Australian residents, age 18 or above, who had contacted customer service in the past 12 months. No estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated; a full methodology is available.</p>
<p><b>About Nuance Communications, Inc.</b>
Nuance is a leading provider of speech recognition, voice biometric and imaging solutions for businesses and consumers around the world. Its technologies, applications and services make the user experience more compelling by transforming the way people interact with information and how they create, share and use documents. Every day, millions of users and thousands of businesses experience Nuance’s proven applications and professional services. For more information, please visit: www.nuance.com.</p>
<p><b>About Harris Interactive</b>
Harris Interactive is a global leader in custom market research. With a long and rich history in multimodal research that is powered by our science and technology, we assist clients in achieving business results. Harris Interactive serves clients globally through our North American, European and Asian offices and a network of independent market research firms. For more information, please visit www.harrisinteractive.com.</p>
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<p>Nuance, Nuance Call Steering and the Nuance logo are registered trademarks or brands of Nuance Communications, Inc. or its subsidiaries in the United States of America and other countries. All other companies or product names are the property of the respective owners.</p>
<p>The statements in this press release, relating to future plans or future events or services, are forward-looking statements which are subject to specific risks and uncertainties. These could involve particular market trends, competition factors and other risks described in the documents submitted to the US Securities and Exchange Commission. The actual results, events and services may vary significantly from the forecasts. The reader is warned not to rely on these forward-looking statements without reservation, since these are simply reflections of the current situation.</p>
<p><b>Media Contact</b>
Polly Johnson
Kinetics
02 9212 3848 or 0404 833 179
polly@kinetics.com.au</p>

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