55 percent of UK consumers would use voice biometrics technology for some phone banking tasks, but many still appreciate personal interactions, according to a new report.The survey found that 81% are comfortable using Interactive Voice Responses IVR for dealing with financial matters, while 55% would be happy to use voice biometrics technology when checking account balance.

In addition, the survey also found that consumers show preference for brands that make is easier to go through identification and verification when making payments. 

That being said, only a minority (35%) see voice biometrics as an option for more general and less sensitive tasks like renewing car insurance. Among the other findings from the report is that many consumers still appreciate personal interactions with agents for support.

The new report, focused on call center customer service, was commissioned by Avaya and Sabio and looked at responses from 2,000 consumers in the UK.

There is still a very strong role for voice in the contact centre as it offers unrivalled versatility in solving complex queries and a key gateway for those who are not online – nearly 20% of the UK population. Technical solutions to address concerns about fraud and data security are also critical. In essence, UK businesses need to listen to their customers, assess their corporate requirements and look at the demands being placed on them through their customer service channels, and from there determine the right strategy and solutions to meet their customer service needs.

A separate research report published last month found that 1 in 2 people would prefer voice biometrics for payment options, far outweighing the popularity of other emerging options.

Research reveals consumers crave a more sensible approach to customer service in the contact centre including voice biometrics

Similarly, while consumers’ enthusiasm for self-service and new media remains strong, they still appreciate personal interactions with agents to get the appropriate support and assistance when dealing with more complex services and products. With 60% of organisations now asking for security details when there is no need, it’s hardly surprising that one in two consumers becomes frustrated with call centre agents when there are security or identity problems. Once connected, if the transaction involves payment, only 5% of consumers think speaking to an agent in a UK call centre is secure, and this reduces to just 2% for overseas call centres.

As well as highlighting an openness to embrace numerous contact centre technologies, the research also delivers six important insights into consumer feeling about data breaches and the risk of payment and identity security within contact centres.

The Six Insights Are:

  • We’re only human: consumers show definite preference for brands that make it easier for them to go through identification and verification when making payments
  • Work-arounds: consumers regularly jeopardise their own personal data security to make their lives easier
  • B+ for effort: consumers try hard to take care of their personal data
  • Alias-mania: consumers often try to hide their true identities when dealing with businesses
  • The long number: consumers are worried about sharing their personal and payments data verbally over the phone
  • Who’s to blame?: consumers are aware that they need to protect themselves from fraud, but feel that organisations (merchants and acquiring banks particularly) should shoulder more responsibility and are the weak link

There is still a very strong role for voice in the contact centre as it offers unrivalled versatility in solving complex queries and a key gateway for those who are not online – nearly 20% of the UK population. However technical solutions to address concerns about fraud and data security are also critical. In reality, UK businesses need to listen to their customers, assess their corporate requirements and :look at the demands being placed on them through their customer service channels, and from there define the right strategy and solutions to meet these customer service needs.”

About the Survey: Sabio and Avaya commissioned Davies Hickman Partners, an independent research consultancy, to complete this voice biometrics nationally representative survey (excluding NI) of 2,035 online consumers in January 2013.

Voice biometrics from PSS