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Contact Centre Solutions Oct 05, 2023

Helping a leading UK retail bank improve customer experience and fight fraud with Smartnumbers

Providing a safe and secure banking experience at every stage of the customer journey.

UK Retail Bank
50,000 to 100,000


The bank was looking to improve their customer service journey and prevent potential fraud losses.

The customer had security concerns over fraudsters obtaining information through Interactive Voice Response (IVR), as it’s difficult to identify fraudsters through audio monitoring only. 

As one of the UK’s leading banks, millions of customers trust them with their investments, savings and finances.

It’s their responsibility to ensure that customers have a safe and secure process at every stage of their banking journey.

The challenge

The retail bank offers self-service through IVR, helping customers send payments or check balances with ease. But even such a sophisticated IVR can pose fraud risks and vulnerabilities. The bank knew from downstream fraud systems that fraud typically starts in the IVR when calls are linked to customers’ compromised accounts. The opportunity to prevent potential debit card and online banking fraud meant that the bank would be able to further improve its relationship with customers.

To address this, the bank had already established a telephony token system to confirm the caller’s identity - typically a straightforward passcode or security question. However, customers who use other channels, such as online banking, may call infrequently and often struggle to recall answers to these questions. It can be challenging from a security perspective too as these answers can be gathered using computer malware or customers can be tricked into disclosing them. And while the bank had implemented audio monitoring to help detect bad actors, this wasn’t sufficient to identify fraudsters who use the IVR to validate compromised data.

That’s when the bank decided to opt for a Smartnumbers solution from us to address their customer authentication and fraud prevention needs. As the fraud and financial crime manager pointed out, “Fraud detection systems are generally resource heavy and the more friction you put into a journey to protect customers, the worse the customer experience is”. Which is where we came in with Smartnumbers, providing “a great improvement on customer experience on top of fraud benefits alongside it.”

On average we expect to save between 20 to 30 seconds per call in the contact centre.

Fraud and financial crime manager

The solution

Our trusted partnership with Smartnumbers helps banks improve their customer service delivery and mitigate fraud losses by establishing better customer relationships and safer fraud prevention processes. Our solution identifies fraudsters by determining a call’s risk before it even arrives in the IVR. It carefully analyses more than 200 features derived from carrier-level call signalling, assigning a risk score for each call.

Our customer can now quickly and accurately identify suspicious calls, even when callers try to hide their phone number. Smartnumbers operates in the background, providing a layer of invisible security to support fraud detection and authentication., The bank has now gained flexibility in how they apply the system and maintain a high-level of security. The implementation process was simple and straight forward. Onboarding a new system like this would typically take two years, but with our Smartnumbers solution, the implementation was six months requiring only internal process changes.

With real-time visibility of the call’s risk level, the bank now offers legitimate customers a broader range of transactions in the IVR, as well as a slicker authentication process if they need to speak with an agent.

Smartnumbers also cuts operational costs. The process of determining the specific reduction in average handling time (AHT) can vary, but the customer expects on average to save between 20 to 30 seconds per call in the contact centre, and for more complex areas, such as fraud and disputes, it can go up to a full minute.

With our Smartnumbers partnership, the bank has been able to benefit from greater improvement to their customer experience delivery alongside enhanced visibility in fraud detection across different channels.

The result

Our Smartnumbers solution has allowed the bank to reap many benefits, such as improving the caller experience, reducing average handling time, and preventing fraud with established fraud savings. The bank has improved the caller experience for 35 to 40% of available calls due to the increase in the IVR containment and shorter authentication time for agent answered calls. And reducing such friction for customers has proven to be only one of the numerous beneficial outcomes.

Since implementing Smartnumbers, the bank has a complete fraud picture across all channels, including the contact centre. The customer has delivered a fourfold improvement on ROI on fraud savings alone by preventing card, online, telephony and APP fraud.

As the bank continues its efforts in fighting fraud, it views our partnership with Smartnumbers as the solution for not only preventing fraud across the business but delivering exceptional customer service all while reducing operational costs. As an overall result, the bank is building better service delivery experiences and strengthening customer relationships along the way.

Smartnumbers is also helping us prioritise cases highlighted by other fraud systems - and also link together fraud cases those systems have missed

Fraud and financial crime manager