12 December 2017

Kenya: Safaricom Bets on Voice Identity to Rein in Fraud

Listed telco Safaricom has introduced voice biometric system aimed at reducing fraud and helping its customers to reduce cases of identity theft.

The system, dubbed Jitambulishe, will allow customers to access Safaricom services such as resetting M-Pesa PIN and PUK requests through a faster and less intrusive vetting process.

The system aims to cut down the number of steps a customer goes through before they are assisted, significantly reducing time spent while seeking customer services.

A pre-recorded registration process will be done by the telco to make the feature functional.

Voice patterns

Safaricom's system will capture customer's voice patterns to create a unique "voiceprint and store it as a secure string of numbers and characters, attributes that will help identify and verify callers when they reach out for customer care".

"We are redesigning our customer care approach to remain in line with shifting trends in the market and to take advantage of emerging technologies.

The introduction of voice biometrics will be a major step towards reducing fraud and identity theft, providing us with ways to serve our customers even better," said Safaricom director of strategy Joseph Ogutu.

"Our contact centre agents spend a greater portion of their call time verifying customers over the phone. The introduction of this service will ensure that customers get faster and more accurate services."

"We anticipate that the number of fraud incidents shall also reduce as a result."

300,000 calls a day

Safaricom call centres receive over 300,000 calls a day and investing in new technologies to enhance customer experience has been part of the firm's strategy over the years.

A while back, Safaricom upgraded their technical infrastructure to be able to accommodate even more customers at their call centres, a move that has helped more than 50 per cent of customers get through to customer care agents within 20 seconds.


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