Safaricom introduces voice detection passwords in its call centres

Safaricom has enabled voice authentication for its customers, the company has announced.

The voice biometric technology, dubbed Jitambulishe, identifies customers by analysing numerous unique characteristics of their voice including the shape of larynx, vocal tract and nasal passage, alongside pronunciation, emphasis and speed of their speech.

The system can be used instead of a traditional password service, which Safaricom claims will reduce the time customers spend on a call and further reduce fraud and identity theft.

“Jitambulishe allows customers to use their voices for authentication before accessing assisted services such as resetting M-PESA PIN, and PUK requests, significantly cutting down the steps a customer goes through before they are assisted.” Safaricom said in a statement.

Customers who sign up to use of the service will be verified when ringing Safaricom customer care and saying an agreed phrase. The system then verifies the customers identity before transferring them through to a customer service representative.

The statement also noted that Safaricom call centres receive about 300,000 calls a day.