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Brett Feldon at Salmat VeCommerce

Aviva Australia invests in speaker verification to improve security for interacting with advisors and customers over the phone

Maidenhead, 11th June 2009, Salmat VeCommerce, a leading supplier of voice self-service and speaker verification solutions has provided its VeSecure voice biometric authentication solution to Aviva Australia.
In what is a first for the Australian life insurance and wealth management industry, Aviva will utilise the voice biometric capability of Salmat VeCommerce’s VeSecure product to transform the way it interacts with its customers and advisors. Simply by using the unique characteristics of the member’s voice, the identity of callers to Aviva can be quickly verified and the call routed to the most appropriate resource. Whilst enhancing the level of customer service and convenience, this process also provides an added layer of security and privacy to telephone enquiries and transactions.
Frank Lombardo, Group Director Operations at Aviva said, “Our organisation has a long history of consistent innovation dating back to the early 1990s and is well recognised as a market leader in the delivery of technological solutions for our customers. Voice biometrics is yet another way in which Aviva is improving the experience for both our customers and financial planners.”
Brett Feldon, General Manager EMEA at Salmat VeCommerce, said, “The new deployment at Aviva Australia shows the maturity and growing acceptance of voice biometrics by some of the World’s leading financial institutions. In an increasingly competitive environment where there is heightened pressure to provide better customer service as well as boost security by removing the reliance on PINs and passwords, we expect other global players to follow their example. We are currently talking to a number of UK based financial services institutions about the benefits of introducing voice biometrics in the near future.”
In the recently published 2009 Salmat VeCommerce Identity Verification Study, over 50% of respondents believed that someone could guess their PINs, passwords or other security details, while 59% stated they believed someone else actually knew these details. An alarming 37% of respondents had either experienced identity fraud or theft or had a friend or family member that had fallen victim to these crimes.
Salmat VeCommerce was selected by Aviva due to its proven track record in delivering speech recognition and voice biometric applications. Mr Lombardo, commented, “They demonstrated a depth of experience and expertise, working with a large customer base, in this specialised field.”
The sale and delivery of the VeSecure application was led by NEC, Aviva’s existing solution provider. Under the agreement, NEC will also provide first level support.

For more information visit - www.vecommerce.co.uk

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Editor’s notes:
About Salmat VeCommerce
Salmat VeCommerce, a Salmat company (ASX:SLM), assists organisations deliver exceptional customer interactions. This is achieved through a detailed analysis of existing customer processes and the development and provision of applications that utilise speech recognition, voice biometrics and other related interaction technologies.

Salmat VeCommerce has developed voice self-service solutions since 1998 and today is one of the most experienced and successful application developers and systems integrators in the industry focusing on automated and scalable voice enabled caller identification and verification (ID&V) solutions.

The company’s focus on research and development and provision of best-of-breed business solutions delivery has rewarded the organisation with a number of industry innovations, including: the first project to develop an Australia/New Zealand phonetic language model, the world’s first natural language wagering solution launched commercially, and the first voice self-service real-time credit card bill payment system.

Salmat VeCommerce clients around the world include: AAPT, Suncorp, Ladbrokes, Which?, ASX Perpetual, Pizza Hut, Radio Taxis, Standard Life, Dublin Airport, TelstraClear, Westpac Bank, Auckland Co-op Taxis, New Zealand’s Ministry of Social Development and Tabcorp.

About Aviva
Aviva Australia is the local face of the global Aviva group – a world leader in financial services.
Aviva is the world’s fifth-largest insurance group^ and the largest insurance services provider in the United Kingdom. We are the leading provider of life and pension products in Europe and are actively growing our long-term savings businesses in Asian markets, the USA and Australia.
We have premium income and investment sales of $112 billion* and $831 billion* of assets under management. Our 54,000 employees serve over 50 million customers in 28 countries.
Aviva has over 150 years of continuous operation in Australia, where our main activities are life insurance, investments and superannuation.
Aviva’s consistent record of innovation in the financial planning market dates back to the early 1990s when its platform first allowed a range of investments to be consolidated into one portfolio. Today, Aviva continues to lead the industry with award-winning life insurance, investments and superannuation products.
Together with Aviva Investors, a funds management company which is also part of the Aviva group, in Australia, Aviva manages or administers more than $19.2 billion in funds for more than 350,000 customers.
*Figures quoted are at 31 December 2008 and in Australian dollars.
^ Based on gross worldwide premiums at 31 December 2007.


Press contact : Jane Moores/Sally Minchin, TTA Communications Ltd,
Tel : 00 44 (0) 1225 731317 email: jmoores@ttauk.com
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