Voiceprints: The Next Thing in Biometrics


A voiceprint is a set of measurable characteristics of a human voice that uniquely identifies an individual. Based on both the physical configuration of the speaker’s mouth and throat, these biometrics can then be expressed as a mathematical formula. “The term applies to a vocal sample recorded for that purpose, the derived mathematical formula, and its graphical representation.” (Forbes) Voiceprints can be used in voice ID systems for user authentication.


Voiceprint technology was, thought their own admission,developed first by the NSA in an attempt to catalogue through their claimed worldwide recordings of phone and VOIP. Naturally, this was justified with the tried and true gambit of “National Security. As the tech becomes more mainstream though, we should expect to see it in more and more institutions beyond the government and spy and intelligence agencies.


Citi, for instance, has made use of voice biometrics authentication in order to recognize customers from their voice withing a mere first few seconds of conversation. They launched the project this year to “automatically verify a customer’s identity while the customer is explaining the reason for calling, allowing customer service reps (CSR) to skip tedious questions about the customer’s first pet’s name, place of birth, last four of the social, favorite sports team and nearest sibling’s place of residence.” (Citi)


Citi’s   branch handling the  manufacture of voice biometrics makes claims that its software is capable of securely and rapidly authenticating customers in real-time without any effort fro the customer, reducing service times. This frees CSR to do their work and enhancing overall cyber-security and authentication, reducing fraud.. “Citi Voice Biometrics uses sophisticated technology to identify roughly 130 different physical and behavioral characteristics within a person’s vocal pattern” then matching those with the prerecorded voice print in order to verify the caller’s identity. It takes just under a minute to set up the system; and around 250,000 of Citi’s U.S. credit card holders have already opted in, according to the Citi. This would make its deployment of this type of voice biometric is the largest in the U.S. outside of government intelligence.

“Voice biometrics allows us to fundamentally change the customer experience – from ‘Who are you?’ to ‘How can I help?'” said Andrew S. Keen, Citi’s chief administrative officer for global consumer operating functions. “This is one of several new capabilities we’re introducing to increase protection while decreasing friction for Citi clients. We take a multi-pronged approach to security, and voice biometrics is an additional layer of defense. Our ultimate goal is to provide protection, peace of mind and convenience for our customers.” (Andrew S. Keen of Citi)

Please contact us through email at admin@gostst.com on our website gostst.com or via phone at

210-446-4863   24/7


Sources: Security Today Magazine, Citi, NSA.gov