Phone-based authentication should enhance the customer experience, not erode it

Posted on: March 27th, 2013 by Art Barger

Should banks add phone-based authentication? Any financial institution that provides services over the telephone channel needs to have some way to authenticate every call coming into their call center. While the answer to that question is pretty evident, the bigger question banks should be asking themselves is what type of solution best fits their business model.

With fraud protection the top priority for authenticating customers over the telephone, another criteria for phone-based authentication is that it shouldn’t interrupt the customer experience. According to the recent article, “Two Factor Or Not To Factor? An Online Security Conundrum,” the main argument against phone-based authentication is it adds friction to the sign-in process. Does it? Well, it depends on the type of service being used.

Of course consumers want both a secure and seamless way to gain access to their banking accounts. After all, who wants to answer a bunch of challenge questions every time they go to access their account? While there are various authentication methods financial institutions can choose from, many can still delay the process by a few minutes. This lengthy phone interrogation can test the goodwill of customers, giving them the impression that their needs aren’t not the top concerns of banks.

One of the main objectives of an effective telephone authentication solution should be to quickly and non-intrusively verify customers without them knowing it. We at TRUSTID believe customer authentication should not impede the user experience at all. In fact, we think it should enhance it.

By combining innovative technology with the keen understanding of what customers expect from remote banking services, the TRUSTID® Physical Caller Authentication tool uses real-time telephone network forensics to invisibly validate the Caller ID and ANI before the call is answered. Achieving customer verification without requiring customers to answer security questions allows call center agents to immediately begin addressing the customer’s needs the moment the phone is picked up.

Imagine the impact on your business operations and customer relationships if you could validate them before the call is answered. Not only would you maintain and strengthen the confidence and goodwill of your customers, you could also save operating expenses through lower average call handling (ACH) times that other knowledge-based authentication (KBA) methods simply can’t do.

In other words, when it comes to customer authentication, the value of putting your customers’ needs first and delivering safe, exceptional service that exceeds their expectations can create a more satisfied banking experience without eroding it with costly and cumbersome challenge questions.