TalkTalk's customer helpline now uses voice authentication

Who remembers those telephone account passwords anyway?


The days of digging out that grubby Post-it note with your telephone account password scrawled on are over for TalkTalk customers. From today, you'll only need your vocal cords to prove you are who you say you are. That's because TalkTalk has introduced biometric voice authentication on its customer services helpline, in what's said to be the first implementation in the UK outside of the financial industry.

TalkSafe, as it's called, uses Nuance's fancy voice authentication tech, which HSBC recently announced it would adopt as part of a larger biometric banking plan. It can recognise over 100 unique identifiers in a person's voice, from speed, emphasis and pronunciation to the shape of your larynx, vocal tract and nasal passage. TalkTalk customers can create their "voiceprint" the next time they call up, the idea being it'll speed up future calls by verifying your identity immediately.

TalkTalk is also implementing this technology to try and make interactions with customers as secure as possible. As you may remember, the quad-play provider suffered a huge data breach last year, with hackers getting away with the sensitive and personal details of over 150,000 customers. Freebies weren't enough to stop over 100,000 customers jumping ship, but since the cyberattack, TalkTalk has begun tightening up security and tried to be transparent about other threats to customer data.