The Green Sheet Online Edition
August 24, 2009 • Issue 09:08:02
Flag and filter online payments
Shop BuyVoice, a phone shopping service from payment processor Planet Payment Inc., builds a mobile wallet for customers that uses a form of identification the product's creators believe is as unique and inimitable as a fingerprint: the human voice.
Customers who register for the system provide all the usual information (name, address, card number and so forth) on the company's Web site before activating their accounts through an unusual process: They call a number and are prompted to repeat a certain phrase three times.
At the other end, voice biometrics technology is used to capture that sound and "rate" it. Thereafter, a customer making a purchase needs only to speak the same phrase to authenticate payment.
"There will be a pass phrase; we'll ask you to repeat that three times, and we take all three utterances and create one print out of that with a rating attached," said Marc Reiser, Chief Marketing Officer for Planet Payment.
"So whenever you call in we're comparing your existing voice saying that exact phrase to what we have on file."
Your voice is unique
Reiser added that voice capture technology has been "compared to fingerprinting and retinal eye scanning as far as the level of security," and is so perceptive that it even works if you have a cold.
More generally, Shop BuyVoice is a system for making convenient phone payments that Reiser said could be used at conferences and sporting events, among other places.
Typically, the service provides a phone and product number that are tagged to a certain piece of merchandise - be it at a brick-and-mortar location, in a catalogue or on an electronic commerce site.
Customers call the number, activate their account with the voice recognition system and make a purchase by punching in the product code.
"If you're at a venue and you'd rather not stand in line to buy a football jersey at a football game and then carry around the merchandise throughout the day, you can basically take a product number off the signage, make the call - or make the call later if you want - and it gets delivered automatically to your shipping address," Reiser said.
He added that merchants who register for the service are given a unique phone number and payment portal (that is, customers who call to buy a specific product hear the name, slogan and other particulars on the recording of the company that they're buying from, not that of Planet Payment).
Advertise where people buy
Reiser also mentioned one more benefit: easy advertising. Customers can be given the option of receiving promotions through text messaging, which Reiser said was a particularly effective kind of advertising because it uses the same channel that payments are made from: cell phones.
Consumers who get the text messages are positioned to purchase the advertised item moments later.
Shop BuyVoice is sold entirely through ISOs and other reseller channels, Reiser said, adding that the phone order service generally involves product delivery, but it can also be used to reserve a product bought in person.
For example, a customer may pass a store that is closed and see a product (and its Shop BuyVoice tag) through the window.
That person can then call the listed phone number, pay for the product by providing the product code and pick it up the next day.
Planet Payment Inc.
Notice to readers: These are archived articles. Contact names or information may be out of date. We regret any inconvenience.