IVR Caller Authentication

The Ultimate Guide to Caller Authentication: Everything You Need to Know

Sumita Banerjee

27 March 2024

For cloud contact center businesses, there are many ways they can transform customer service, providing a friction-less experience over IVR Solutions is one of the most important metrics to be analysed. This is because for any caller the first interaction they have with a business is through an IVR Calling System. Therefore, it is ideal that when someone calls the interactive voice response (IVR) technology must be smart enough to identify the caller. There are many ways to make it possible.

Identification & verification (IDV) : In the IVR Service, authentication is done by IDV. It is based on correct ID of the caller by which not only caller's name is revealed but also their account histories come into picture. A single customer profile is maintained for every customer and thereby it helps to serve them more quickly and effectively.

Another aspect of IDV is the more confirmation about the customer, the better trust they have on the organisation. Keeping this is in mind there are few IVR Solutions authentication best practices which help to identify whoever is on the other side of line.


  1. Automatic number identification
  2. Multiple phone numbers
  3. Second layer of authentication
  4. Client identification
  5. Skipping authentication
  6. Goal of IVR authentication best practices
  7. Advantage & Disadvantages of Voice Authentication

1. Automatic number identification (ANI):

There is a common practice of asking customer name at a first interaction but it is far more impressive to know the caller even before picking up the call. This is possible by ANI where a call comes and ANI matches the caller's number and shows the customer profile in details like their location or the name of organisation from where they are making call.

2. Multiple phone numbers:

In today's world a house owns multiple phone numbers ( landline/mobile) . ANI database allows to add new or additional phone number to each account that increases verification efficiency.

3. Second layer of authentication:

Many organisation need second layer of authentication . Before going for it client must agree to provide extra piece of information such as birth date, social security number etc. Mostly last four digits of social security or similar personal id is used as a second layer of authentication, as many people will hesitate to share their personal information. This type of authentication is only needed to access secure data such as account balance etc.

4. IVR Client identification:

An IVR can function more deeper than answering a call. It can offer personalized service for each customer by identifying them. For example, The IVR Calling System can tell the client about their payment status and that provides the customer an immediate chance to confirm and provide payment without going through lengthy IVR Solutions menu. Positive identification of customer reduces the risk of multiple transfer or drop off. If the prediction is right, it is advisable to send text messages in future which will help to inform the customer to pay bill in advance.

5. IVR Skipping authentication:

Now as the IVR Service identifies the callers as soon as they call, it is important to know whether the agent needs ID at all. In some industries caller's ID remains private and can’t be passed on to an agent. So the last IVR System authentication best practice is to skip authentication.

Goal of IVR authentication best practices:

The first goal of most IVR Solutions is the self-service of IDV. Without knowing the client one can’t provide successful self-service. So increasing IDV will result in a decrease in Contact Center Software cost and increase in customer satisfaction.

Knowledge based authentication (KBA): KBA is an authentication method that asks questions based on detailed information. This information is usually more advanced than the information that is accessible from email or a computer by a fraudster.

There are three types of KBA

  1. Static KBA: In static KBA , end user pre select questions and provide the correct answer. The question/answer is then stored and used to verify the person's identity later. Static KBA questions are very simple and commonly asked like "What is your pet’s name?" Or "What is your favourite colour?" etc. The problem with static KBA question is if someone share the information on a social media site, the answer can be easily accessible.
  2. Dynamic KBA: Dynamic KBA is the second level of authentication where questions are not generic and only applied to a specific person. It is also known as, "out-of-wallet "questions because the answer can't be found in a person’s wallet if it is lost or stolen. The questions are generated from user’s credit history or public records. It is an attractive option for e-signature users that need to be authenticated instantly.
  3. Enhanced KBA: It is like dynamic KBA where it presents multiple choice questions to users.

Voice Authentication:

Unlike password or token-based authentication, it uses unique biological characteristics to verify an individual’s identity. This is more convenient for the users as no need to remember passwords or carry token that can be easily stolen or lost. Voice recognition also called voice authentication analyses a person’s voice to identify the person. There are few factors like shape and movement of mouth and jaws, airways, soft-tissue cavities influence voice patterns, which creates a unique voice print.

Voice authentication is not the same as speech recognition where speech to text application technology is used. Speech recognition can sense verbal language but it can’t verify identity of the speaker based on unique vocal attributes.

Advantage & Disadvantages of Voice Authentication:


According to Gartner, “Using voice bio metrics combined with phone printing provides the strongest method for authentication callers and detecting fraudsters.” Phone printing and voice bio metrics offer a multi-layered solution. When good quality audio from contact center is available, voice bio metrics can provide better accuracy. Combining together can identify right caller, right number and right location.

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