Vodacom Tanzania Plc the digital Leading telecommunication company has today made history in the telecommunication arena, after launching ‘SautiPass’ – a voice biometrics feature that enables customers to use their voice as a password for authentication to access critical services such as getting PUK, unlocking M-PESA accounts, getting M-PESA PIN/ start key and replacing their line.
Under its pillar Inclusion for all, which aims at taking everyone on board, thus making sure that no one is left behind, the new product has come to help people with disabilities, who for the long time were left behind.
Voice Biometrics, (also called Voice Authentication) is a type of user security that uses a customer’s voice, relying on the fact that vocal characteristics, just like fingerprints and people’s irises (eyes), are unique for each individual, in which for the first time in the country, this feature is user friendly to people with disabilities.
Speaking today during launch of the service in Dar es Salaam, Vodacom’s Customer Service Director Harriet Lwakatare said the new feature is part of the company’s efforts of not leaving anyone behind which goes hand in hand with making sure that people with disabilities are given platform to help selves by leveraging on innovation and technology.
“As a purpose-led company, Vodacom Tanzania believes that technology can improve lives, and this new product builds further momentum to our purpose to connect for a better future and enable an inclusive, sustainable digital society,” said Harriet.
“SautiPass, will be used as part of a two steps authentication process when accessing Vodacom products and services. Customers can now enjoy the security and convenience of self service for critical services such as access to PUK number or M-PESA PIN, SIM Replacement, Unlocking M-PESA account, Bar/Unbar lines and much more using their voice as their password. This will not only increase efficiency in our customer service but also enhance customer security” added Harriet.
The SautiPass service will also benefit people with disabilities who cannot access phone button feature on their phones such as the visually impaired or those who cannot commute to a Vodashop to get various services. Vodacom Customers do not have to call customer service and go through the verification question or carry their ID to a Vodashop to access sensitive services, as they will be readily available at a voice command.
“As a company that believes in the inclusive power of technology, we are keen to adopt the best emerging technologies, we saw the need to include Our Customers with disabilities by coming with this user friendly product, SautiPass is a step towards making life easier and giving them peace of mind” Harriet concluded.
To activate the service, dial 100, follow the IVR prompts and select ‘To Use Your Voice as Your Password’ to enrol in our Vodacom SautiPass service. Your voice patterns will be captured and utilised in the creation of a unique “voiceprint”, that is stored as a secure string of numbers and characters. This will help identify and verify when you want to access self-service options on IVR or place a call to the customer care desk.
Commenting on the new service, Mr Msafiri Mhando, a deaf-mute applauded Vodacom’s move saying that it will highly help people with disabilities, “this service has come at a right time, as people with disabilities have been faced with so many hiccups when it comes to customer service, now we can help ourselves,” he said.
Mr Mhando urged the community and other Mobile Network Operators (MNO’s) to adopt what Vodacom Tanzania is doing to include everyone, “we have been left back for so long, I’m now urging Tanzanians not to punish us, please make conducive environment for people with disabilities, as it will also add advantage to their business,” he concluded