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Surveys Show: Consumers Ready to Say Goodbye to PINs, Passwords, and Probing

Nuance Surveys Find 90% of Consumers Would Prefer Voice Biometrics for Authentication Over Passwords and Intrusive Security Questions

BURLINGTON, Mass., – May 8, 2013 – It’s a connected world, with millions of people accessing personal information from various locations and devices 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. While security is critical, consumer convenience often takes a backseat when it comes to how people access their information.

Nuance today unveiled the results of twin surveys measuring consumer attitudes and preferences for how they are identified and authenticated when accessing accounts and interacting with customer service. Nuance’s survey data points to growing frustration among consumers with how they log in, sign on, dial up, or otherwise get access to their accounts. With multiple PINs, passwords, and security questions and answers to be remembered in order to gain access to a bank account, travel site, or other personal account, consumers are overwhelmed and fed up. In fact, survey data reveals that 85% of people are dissatisfied with current authentication methods. Conversely, data also shows that 90% of people are eager to use voice biometric solutions in place of traditional methods of authentication if it means the same high levels of security.

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Voice biometrics identifies each individual through their unique voiceprint, which eliminates the hassle of remembering and typing passwords and PINs, and makes the authentication process quick and painless for consumers. For organizations looking to deliver compelling customer experiences across multiple channels, including Web, mobile and IVR, voice biometrics delivers a quick, easy and secure experience at the consumer’s first touch point with a company and delivers substantial cost savings.

Nuance’s recent surveys revealed not only the importance that consumers place on security, but also their frustration with the traditional processes of authentication, and their demand for voice biometrics as a secure and convenient alternative.

Nuance Mobile Security and ID Survey – Nuance’s survey of more than 900 smartphone users in North America showed that security is a top issue for mobile consumers, but that individuals’ chosen security credentials are often weak, creating significant vulnerabilities.

  • Security is important, with 83% of mobile consumers noting that they are either concerned or very concerned about the misuse of their personal information.
  • Survey data shows that mobile consumers have a complex web of usernames and passwords to juggle – 67% have more than 11 usernames and passwords, and 9% have more than 50 usernames and passwords.
  • Due in large part to the difficulty of remembering login information, 80% of mobile consumers surveyed use the same login credentials across all of their accounts.
  • Despite using the same credentials across all accounts, 67% of mobile consumers surveyed claim to reset their login credentials between 1 and 5 times per month.
  • Of those surveyed, 74% claim password authentication prevented accessing their personal information at least once.
  • 90% of mobile consumers surveyed would prefer to use voice biometrics if it ensured tighter security.

Nuance/Opus Call Center/IVR Survey – Nuance and Opus surveyed more than 1000 consumers in the United States who had recently used their telephone for customer care to assess their attitudes toward speech-enabled systems for authentication and gain insights into the features and functionality customers would consider ideal. Survey results showed that most consumers are unhappy with current methods of authentication, and that most would prefer voice biometrics.

  • Of those callers surveyed, 85% are dissatisfied with current authentication methods.
  • When using current methods, 65% of callers fail at authentication too often.
  • 49% of callers surveyed find current authentication processes too time consuming.
  • When asked, 90% of consumers surveyed prefer voice biometrics over PINs and passwords, with 77% stating that they find voice biometrics more convenient.

At this week’s Opus Research Voice Biometrics Conference in San Francisco, visitors will get a look at Nuance’s voice biometrics solutions and will hear first-hand from customers such as Barclays Wealth & Investment Management who are using voice biometrics to improve their customer service. Nuance voice biometrics technology leads the industry, with over 30 million voiceprints deployed, representing an estimated 80% of the commercial market. (Opus Research: Research Report: Voice Biometrics Vendor Survey and “IntelliView” 2012, October 29, 2012). To learn more, visit


Sources: In 2012, Nuance commissioned VocalLabs to assess SmartPhone user perceptions regarding security, PIN/password-based authentication, as well as the use of voice biometrics as an alternative authentication method. More than 900 individuals responded to the survey. All were smartphone owners in North America. In May 2012, Opus Research, in conjunction with Nuance, commissioned Coleman-Parkes Associates to survey 1,000 individuals who had recently used their telephone for customer care to assess their attitudes toward speech enabled systems for authentication and gain insights into the features and functionality customers would consider ideal.

About Nuance Communications, Inc.

Nuance Communications, Inc. is a leading provider of voice and language solutions for businesses and consumers around the world.  Its technologies, applications and services make the user experience more compelling by transforming the way people interact with devices and systems. Every day, millions of users and thousands of businesses experience Nuance’s proven applications.  For more information, please visit

Trademark reference: Nuance and the Nuance logo are trademarks, registered trademarks or brands of Nuance Communications, Inc. or its subsidiaries in the United States of America and other countries. All other companies or product names are the property of the respective owners.

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