NZ Internal Revenue Dept tops 1m Voice ID enrollees
28 March 2014 15:00 GMT

NZ IRD customers helped by voice biometrics

New Zealand's Internal Revenue Department has announced that its biometric Voice ID service has now enrolled more than one million customers, saving taxpayers 8,500 hours of phone time each year.

Revenue Minister Todd McClay said: “This is a significant achievement. At 1 million enrolments we have the highest level of voice biometric enrolments per capita in the world.”

Voice ID went live in January 2012 and has proven so successful that around 60-70 per cent of people who call IRD on any given day are now enrolled with it.

“I am advised that customers are saving around 40 seconds per call when enrolled through Voice ID. This equates to a staggering 8,500 hours each year New Zealanders no longer have to spend on the phone to IRD," said McClay.

Signing up for Voice ID eliminates the need for customers to answer a lot of personal security questions to verify who they are. Voice ID also allows customers to automatically check the balance of their Inland Revenue accounts, receive child support information, track their tax refund, retrieve their IRD number, activate their online services account and reset passwords, even if they call outside opening hours.

The Voice ID service is powered by ArmorVox technology from Auraya. Dr Summerfield, CEO of Auraya Systems, said: "Australian developed ArmorVox contains tuners that allow partners to optimise ArmorVox for their specific accent, language and security requirements. In the case of Voice ID, this enabled Salmat NZ, Auraya’s New Zealand partner, to optimise ArmorVox for the (unique) New Zealand accent which in turn allowed them to deliver this stunning business success to the New Zealand Government.”