ID R&D Launches Vocal Biometrics Security for WhatsApp Business Transactions
Biometric technology startup ID R&D and chatbot developer SimpleTech have created a voice authentication tool for WhatsApp that businesses can use to better secure financial transactions and other sensitive data. The idea is to enhance WhatsApp as a platform for enterprise with an extra, voice-based security layer.
WhatsApp claims more than 1.5 billion people in 180 countries use its platform every month. Although best-known for personal communications, the WhatsApp Business API is rapidly expanding its customer base as well, counting healthcare, retail, and banking among the industries represented on the app. A quick, mobile way to send receipts, updates, tickets, and more draws plenty of companies looking for AI-powered remote customer interaction tools, especially as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic severely curtails in-person business transactions.
The setup process is familiar to anyone who has set up a voice profile on Alexa or Google Assistant, but even quicker. You just pick one of the random phrases suggested by the chatbot and send a recording of yourself saying it three times. Then, whenever talking to a company that has the service implemented, you’d do it again. ID R&D’s tech checks that it’s the right words, that the voice matches your setup, and runs a check to make sure it was recorded in the moment and not stolen by someone else to use later. Once it all matches, the transaction can continue.
But, WhatsApp for business provokes some anxiety among prospective clients due to its limited security features. While the messages traveling between devices are encrypted, someone illicitly gaining access to a phone could theoretically use WhatsApp to drain a bank account if the human checkpoints fail. ID R&D addresses these concerns by marrying its biometric technology to the Wittybots by SimpleTech chatbot platform. The Uruguay-based developer and ID R&D can then give two-factor authorization to WhatsApp business transactions. People are concerned about security and privacy when it comes to voice technology, according to surveys like one conducted by ID R&D a little over a year ago. Connecting voice biometrics to a popular technology like WhatsApp might improve how people feel about both.
“Our solution allows businesses to safely communicate with their customers via WhatsApp Business API,” ID R&D president Alexey Khitrov said. “The unique combination of Wittybots by SimpleTech and ID R&D’s voice biometrics gives businesses the ability to secure automated payments and more without the friction and vulnerability of passwords, PINs and another knowledge-based authentication.”
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