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- New research by SpeechStorm and Genesys gives banks a clear warning that customers want tighter security for telephone transactions
- Over a third would switch to a bank that offers better security measures such as voice biometrics

London, UK – July 7th , 2008 — SpeechStorm, (www.speechstorm.com), the specialist provider of speech self-service solutions for contact centres, and Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories, an Alcatel-Lucent company (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU), have today announced the results of a new survey that investigated consumers’ attitudes towards current telephone banking security measures and voice biometrics. The study found that 61 per cent are concerned about the security of PIN, passwords and ‘secret data’ when used to confirm ID over the phone with a contact centre agent and 42 per cent of people using telephone banking believe their banks don’t take enough security measures to prevent fraud or identity theft.

The survey’s results send a clear message to banks that they need to be more proactive in the use of technology, as over a third of respondents would be inclined to move to an alternative bank if it offered a more secure service such as voice biometrics as an identity verification measure.

The research was conducted by SpeechStorm and Genesys during May and June 2008 under the guidance of University of Ulster’s Head of Voice Authentication Research, Professor Michael McTear. During 30-minute face-to-face interviews, 41 per cent of respondents revealed that they believe their personal information is more secure when using an automated systems than speaking to a live agent (36 per cent) when handling PIN and passwords. Eighty six per cent of the candidates said they would be happier to use either voice biometrics (28 per cent) or a blend of both voice biometrics and PIN/Password (58 per cent) measures for telephone banking identification and verification.

Professor Michael McTear, Head of Voice Authentication Research at the University of Ulster explains the significance of the research and the raison d’etre behind its findings. “Given the concerns that many bank customers have with the threat of identity fraud and the associated risks for their personal finances, it is imperative that banks should be encouraged to provide an effective and easy-to-use method for additional security. Voice authentication provides such a method.” Professor McTear continues. “The customer is not required to enter complicated sequences of numbers and letters but simply answers a few questions in their normal voice. Voice biometrics is an effective and reliable technology for authenticating valid customers and, more importantly, for rejecting ‘imposters’ whose voice does not match the customer’s voiceprint.”

With 80 per cent of respondents declaring that security is an important element of banking transactions completed over the phone, and with almost three quarters (74 per cent) stating that they’ve been more careful with their personal information in the last twelve months, SpeechStorm and Genesys believe that this survey highlights the need for banks to address security concerns. Voice biometrics technology provided by speech recognition providers, such as SpeechStorm, can add an additional layer of identification and verification that would enable financial institutions to meet consumers’ requirements and gain a competitive edge where telephone banking security is concerned.

Key findings from the Consumer Attitudes to Voice Biometrics Survey:

Security concerns and behavioural impact
• 74% of respondents have been more careful about their personal information in the last 12 months compared with the previous 12 months
• 42% of respondents are either not confident or not sure about their bank’s ability to prevent anyone from accessing their accounts

Confidence in voice biometrics
• 79% would be willing to use voice biometrics in the future
• 86% of respondents would be happier to use either voice biometrics (28%) or a blend of both voice biometrics and Password/PIN (58%) in identifying them for telephone banking transactions in future
• 72% would be happy to receive a call from a speech automated service using voice biometrics as an additional security method

Consumers’ message to banks
• 38% would be inclined to join a bank that offered voice biometric security, versus one that did not
• More than a third of respondents (34%) agree they could consider moving to an alternative bank if it offered a more secure service like voice biometrics
• 37% would even be happy to pay a small fee to a bank that is very proactive in securing their personal information

To download a full report of the findings please visit http://www.speechstorm.com/seminarregistrationform.aspx?id=5...

About Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories, Inc.
Genesys, an Alcatel-Lucent company, is the only company that focuses 100 per cent on software to manage customer interactions over the phone, web and in e-mail. The Genesys software suite dynamically connects customers with the right resources – self-service or assisted-service – to fulfil customer requests, optimise customer care goals and efficiently use resources. Genesys software directs more than 100 million customer interactions every day for 4,000 companies and government agencies in 80 countries. These companies and agencies can leverage their entire organisation, from the contact centre to the back office, to improve the overall customer experience. As a result, Genesys helps stop customer frustration, drive efficiency, and accelerate business innovation. For more information, go to www.genesyslab.com or visit the industry blog at www.betterinteractions.com

About Alcatel-Lucent
Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU) provides solutions that enable service providers, enterprises and governments worldwide, to deliver voice, data and video communication services to end-users. As a leader in fixed, mobile and converged broadband networking, IP technologies, applications, and services, Alcatel-Lucent offers the end-to-end solutions that enable compelling communications services for people at home, at work and on the move. With operations in more than 130 countries, Alcatel-Lucent is a local partner with global reach. The company has the most experienced global services team in the industry, and one of the largest research, technology and innovation organisations in the telecommunications industry. Alcatel-Lucent achieved adjusted proforma revenues of Euro 18.3 billion in 2006 and is incorporated in France, with executive offices located in Paris. [All figures exclude impact of activities transferred to Thales]. For more information, visit Alcatel-Lucent on the Internet: http://www.alcatel-lucent.com

About SpeechStorm
SpeechStorm provides speech self-service and voice biometrics solutions that work alongside the contact centre, enabling callers to get what they need, faster and at their own convenience. Using the SpeechStorm inbound and outbound speech solutions suite, contact centres across the world are transforming their phone based customer relationships, reducing costs and improving service levels.

Organisations including Irish telecoms giant, eircom, Dixons Stores Group International, SITA Suez and Northern Ireland Electricity rely on SpeechStorm solutions to underpin their contact centres and to improve the performance of their businesses. Backed by a professional services capability of more than 250 consultants, SpeechStorm is part of Kainos, a leading IT consulting company. SpeechStorm has offices in the UK and Ireland.

For more information please visit the corporate website on www.speechstorm.com.

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Sarum PR in the following categories: Consumer Technology, Personal Finance, Business & Finance, Computing & Telecoms, for more information visit http://pressreleasewire.responsesource.com/about.