HMRC trials voice ID

Written by Rebecca Hill on 19 January 2017 in News
News

The UK’s tax authority is this month launching a trial for customers to use voice ID to speed up security steps.

Person holding phone

The service will be available to people with the HMRC mobile app - Photo credit: Pixabay

HMRC – which has ambitions of being the most digitally advanced tax authority in the world – said that some customers calling the tax credits or self assessment helplines will be able to enrol for voice identification.

The authority said that the technology was “well-proven and measures more than 100 different characteristics before determining a match, making it one of the most secure systems”.


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The first time a customer calls they will have to repeat a passphrase five times, before being passed to an adviser to complete the call. This will be recorded and securely stored and can be used again when the service goes live in the next few weeks.

HMRC added that people wouldn’t be able to use the voice ID immediately because the technology used to run the system needs to build up a bank of passphrases.

Ruth Owen, director general for customer services, said that the aim was to help people who can’t, or don’t want to, deal with HMRC online. “Voice ID is the latest example of the cutting-edge technology we are using to make it easier for people to manage their tax and tax credits,” she said.

HMRC’s mobile app, meanwhile, already offers customers fingerprint identification if their phones have a scanner. HMRC said that it would be encouraging everyone who called to take part, but that they could choose to opt out if they wanted.

 

This article has been amended to reflect that the voice ID will be available to everyone, even those without the mobile app, following clarification from HMRC.

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