The companies behind IRD's voice print security

Your voice is unique

Inland Revenue says 400,000 people have signed up for its new "voice print" recognition service, which replaces PIN numbers and security questions.

The new system was introduced in November.

“Voice ID matches a customer’s voice against their pre-recorded voice print. This means customers do not have to answer a series of identity questions and they no longer have to use their PIN and password system when they contact us,” customer services group manager Eleanor Young says.

“Like fingerprints, everyone’s voice is unique to the individual, and we can use it to verify their identification when they phone us. Because each voice print is unique, voice ID is extremely secure.”

Enrolment is via an 0800 number.

When NBR ONLINE called, it was surprised there were only two basic security questions – IRD number and date of birth – asked during the automated voice-enrollment process, and not confirmation of either the NBR reporter's name or his IRD number to ensure the system had made no mistake.

"The voice print system was developed under our service agreement with TelstraClear, who in turn partnered with Salmat," an IRD spokesman told NBR.

Salmat is an Australian company whose specialist areas include data management and voice recognition.

The voice print system has also been deployed by NAB, parent company of another TelstraClear customer, BNZ.

Vodafone has sought Commerce Commerce approval to buy Telstraclear for $840 million. 

The approval process is expected to take several months.

A prime motivation behind the deal was Vodafone's desire to break into the corporate market and big government departments, where it has a low profile but TelstraClear has a strong presence.

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2 Comments & Questions

Commenter icon key: Subscriber Verified

Well done IRD, good to see technology being taken on board to make things simpler.
Now, about your computer capacity????

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Great to see the Government 'fingerprinting' quietly the population. I guess if they had openly tried taking our DNA or actual fingerprints or iris scans we might smell a rat, like they were getting us ready for microchipping or something crazy like that. Good old John Key, we can trust him, he is, after all, the most amazing verbal anaesthetic practitioner I've ever seen. A great asset to the global world order team. Team him up with Hel's Clark at the U.N. and we're in like Flynn. But then... that's crazy talk, right?

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