Active Voice Or Passive Voice Authentication - Which Is Best For Your CU?

Technologies that minimize operational inefficiencies while enhancing member service are becoming increasingly crucial for credit unions. Voice authentication is one such solution that uses advanced security measures to combat fraud while also improving member experience.

Rising instances of fraud and ever-increasing end-user expectations for a seamless banking experience have made voice authentication an essential bridge for credit unions to stay competitive. It enables fast, frictionless, and highly secure authentication using the person's voice as a unique identifying biological characteristic.

There are two different types of voice authentication modes that a credit union can opt for - Passive voice authentication & Active voice authentication.

Two types of voice authentication

1. Passive voice authentication:

Passive voice authentication is a type of voice biometric authentication that occurs in the backend, where the AI stores the end-user/member’s voice during enrollment. When the member calls in, their speech is compared to the stored voiceprint and verified (regardless of what they are saying) passively. Here the member is not even aware that they are being authenticated - authentication is done passively during the member’s conversation.

2.Active voice authentication:

Active voice authentication is a type of voice biometric authentication method that requires end-users to recite a phrase or specific words to enable the system to establish their unique voiceprint. Matching is done phrase-to-phrase with the collected voiceprint of the user during enrolment.

For example - A member is asked to recite “My voice is my password” during enrolment and will be asked to repeat the phrase during subsequent sessions where they want to authenticate themselves.

The word “active” in active voice authentication refers to the fact that a person must actively participate and knowingly say a particular phrase that will be later used for authentication purposes.

Comparison of Active voice & Passive voice Authentication from an end-user perspective

After an extensive study and gathering insights from 5,000+ end-users of credit unions, we have found out that:

Over 85% of the end-users prefer active voice authentication.

This is because end-users felt in control of the whole authentication process with active voice authentication as they clearly know when they are going to be authenticated. With passive voice verification, end-users are not intimated that authentication is about to happen or is happening. Even though the process might be seamless, end-users do not feel in control and have strongly shared a need for an announcement or indication that authentication is going to start or is happening. Members correlate this to the safety and security of their financial transactions and hence overwhelmingly prefer active voice authentication. offers both active and passive voice authentication but guides credit unions to choose active voice verification due to the end-user sentiments and preferences.

Below is a summary of the differences between passive and active voice authentication.

The ever-increasing instances of fraud in the digital era require credit unions to go the extra mile to protect members' confidential information and data.

Voice biometric authentication has become a vital tool to prevent fraud and identity theft while offering a better end-user experience and optimizing processes.

The end-user-friendly and more secure nature of active voice verification leads us to recommend this method for every credit union that cares about the security of its processes and the satisfaction of its members.