Manulife Customers Can Say "So Long" or "Au Revoir" to Passwords and PINs

Natural Language Understanding and Voice Biometrics in both French and English is a first in Canada

Market-leading technology from Nuance centred on customers' voice

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TORONTO,ON and MONTRÉAL, PQ, Sept. 1, 2015 /CNW/ - Manulife today announced that it has enhanced its contact centre customer experience with the deployment of natural language understanding (NLU) and voice biometric technologies. Manulife is the first company in Canada to introduce voice biometrics as well as natural language understanding in a single interactive voice response (IVR) system offered in both English and French.

First introduced in July 2015 to Manulife Bank customers, the new IVR system provides customers with a secure system that recognizes natural conversation. For customers who choose to enroll in the voice biometrics option, they can now simply say "at Manulife my voice is my password" to access their accounts without the need for additional passwords, PINs and security questions, for subsequent calls.  Manulife is also providing this service to its retail advisors who contact us for obtaining product information, placing new business or checking on existing business on behalf of their customers.

Manulife serves 1 in 3 adult Canadians and its customer contact centre receives almost 28, 000 calls a day.  With these new  combined technologies, Manulife is enhancing customer security while eliminating up to four steps in the authentication process which will streamline the amount of time spent by customers on calls with us in a meaningful way.

"This customer-focused technology provides a more natural, faster, and more enhanced customer experience within our call centres," says Marianne Harrison, President & CEO, Manulife Canada. "No more PINs or passwords to remember - customers just use their voice as their password.  The introduction of these enhancements is another example of Manulife's commitment to providing customers with innovative, forward-thinking solutions for a superior customer experience."

A video illustrating our customer experience can be accessed here.

Customer experience and security
To offer this technology to its customers, Manulife partnered with Nuance, a global leader in the development of NLU speech, conversational interfaces, and voice biometrics technology, which are at once convenient and secure. There is a series of security measures built into this technology to protect customers' information and accounts.  Manulife's solution analyzes more than 100 unique voice characteristics to create individual voiceprints for customers, each unique, much like a fingerprint. When a customer calls in to access their account, their voice is compared against their voiceprint and, if matched, access is granted.

"When it comes to improving the customer experience, few things gain traction as quickly as services that reduce hassle. Natural user interfaces offer new methods for interacting with software, data and services, and inputs like touch, gesture, and voice can deliver contextualized, individualized, and more secure customer experiences, enabling companies to meet their customers' needs in easy and enjoyable ways," said Allegra Burnette, Principal Analyst, Forrester.

About Manulife

Manulife Financial Corporation is a leading international financial services group providing forward-thinking solutions to help people with their big financial decisions.  We operate as John Hancock in the United States, and Manulife elsewhere.  We provide financial advice, insurance and wealth and asset management solutions for individuals, groups and institutions.  At the end of 2014, we had 28,000 employees, 58,000 agents, and thousands of distribution partners, serving 20 million customers.  At the end of June 2015, we had $883 billion (US$708 billion) in assets under management and administration, and in the previous 12 months we made more than $22 billion in benefits, interest and other payments to our customers.  Our principal operations are in Asia, Canada and the United States where we have served customers for more than 100 years.  With our global headquarters in Toronto, Canada, we trade as 'MFC' on the Toronto, New York, and the Philippine stock exchanges and under '945' in Hong Kong.  Follow Manulife on Twitter @ManulifeNews or visit www.manulife.com or www.johnhancock.com.

SOURCE Manulife Financial Corporation

Image with caption: "Natural Language Understanding and Voice Biometrics (CNW Group/Manulife Financial Corporation)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20150901_C9616_PHOTO_EN_44176.jpg

For further information:

Media Contact:

Rebecca Freiburger
Media Relations
519-503-6604
Rebecca_Freiburger@Manulife.com


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