Australian Tax Office extends voice biometrics to mobile apps for citizen engagement

Expansion of the government agency's voice recognition technology use is just one example of how voice-activated technology can be used for consumer interactions

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has extended the use of voice biometrics technology to its mobile app in a bid to provide more consistent multi-channel experiences to citizens while boosting security and productivity.

The agency claims to be the first to implement a multichannel voice biometrics authentication process, which it says will improve the overall experience across its contact centre and mobile app for tax payers.

Already, more than 1.5 million people are enrolling a voiceprint, a process launched across the ATO’s call centre last year. The second phase of work has been focused on extending this use of voice authentication to online services accessible via mobile interactions.

The ATO is using voice recognition technology from software vendor, Nuance. Once a tax payer has chosen to participate, they only need to enrol once to be able to use their voiceprint across any digital channel or service.

“The ATO is committed to delivering a contemporary digital experience for our clients and feedback has shown an overwhelming acceptance of voice biometrics in the call centre, making it a natural next step to bring this ease of access to the mobile app,” said ATO assistant commissioner, John Dardo.

“Voice biometrics solutions have made the authentication process more convenient for taxpayers and service agents via the ATO mobile app. We’re proud to be the first organisation to provide this type of innovative mobile experience for our clients.”

Privacy and security has been a big motivational factor for rolling out voice authentication technology at the ATO. The agency and Nuance pointed to a 2013 report from Opus Research, which examined the vulnerability of various authentication methods and found voice biometrics compared favourably to other types of security processes such as PINs, passwords, security questions and physical tokens.

It’s also a big win for productivity. Prior to launching voice recognition, 76 per cent of the ATO’s 7.2 million calls annually required an ATO agent to verify the caller’s identify, costing 75,000 hours of time each year.

That in turn has led to a positive impact on citizen engagement, including improved contact centre feedback, and a reduction of 40-45 seconds in the average time repeat callers are on the phone with an agent, the ATO said.

Nuance’s voice recognition is also being used by several banks and telcos globally including Santander Mexico, ING Netherlands, SK Telecom, Royal Bank of Canada and Turkcell.

It’s also providing the basis for a host of virtual intelligent assistants. For example, in a recent interview with CMO, Sweden banking group, Swedbank, explained how it’s using an intelligent virtual assistant technology based on Nuance’s offering in this space, called Nina, to help its call centre interact with customers.

Within one year, Swedbank claimed significant improvement in customer retention rates as well as shorter average time spent on calls.

Voice recognition for consumer engagement has also stretched into the advertising sector, with Universal Sony Home Entertainment employing a voice-activated interactive mobile advertising campaign to mark the launch of its film, Her, on DVD, Blu-Ray and UltraViolet.

Last year, Coles also conducted an in-home customer trial of Hiku: A device that incorporates voice recognition capabilities for users to add items to an online shopping list.

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+: google.com/+CmoAu

Join the CMO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Supporting Association

Blog Posts

Disruption Down Under – What’s Amazon’s real competitive advantage?

Savvy shoppers wait in anticipation, while Australian retailers are gearing up for the onslaught. Amazon’s arrival is imminent.

Change across the board: Why boards need to digitally evolve

Traditionally the non-executive board of a company acts in an advisory capacity - attending monthly board meetings to offer overarching advice and guidance typically focusing on:

Jodie Sangster

CEO, ADMA

The most desirable customers you’ve overlooked

“What will really move the needle?” This is a question that keeps leaders awake at night. And at the intersection of some of their top priorities – finding pockets of growth, redefining the customer experience, and making an emotional impact – lies a latent market: Their diverse customers.

Really inspiring !

Goldenboy Media

Jaywing sets sights on Australian growth with digital and data-driven agency model

Read more

Being aware of regulations or guidlines is just the start. As our CEO Emma Lo Russo stated exactly two weeks ago at an event we supported...

Alan Smith

​Are the Wild West days of influencer collaboration over?

Read more

Rebranding is always nice solution to get better organisation. Businessman may apply certain special services (for example, https://www.l...

David Hill

CMO interview: Spearheading the global rebranding of OFX

Read more

Thank you so much for sharing this article.Top Digital Marketing company in Bangalore

Way To DM

Predictions: 17 digital marketing trends for 2017

Read more

Thanks for the great article Jodie, agree many boards and senior execs are operating in outdated modes, just as we need some reverse soci...

sharyn

Change across the board: Why boards need to digitally evolve - Data-driven marketing - CMO Australia

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in