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Vodacom Tanzania links voice recognition with M-Pesa

Vodacom Tanzania has launched 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.

In a statement the company explained that the offering is intended to help people with disabilities.

It added that 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.

At the launch of the service in Dar es Salaam recently, Vodacom’s Customer Service Director Harriet Lwakatare said: “SautiPass, will be used as part of a two-step 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.”

Vodacom Tanzania said the 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,” the company stated.

Harriet said: “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.

Mdundo partnership

Vodacom Tanzania has also announced a partnership with online music streaming service Mdundo.com, to provide subscribers with access to a music bundle.

The network operator’s head of Value Added Services Nguvu Kamando said: “Instead of struggling and moving from one platform to another, we - as a digital valuing company - saw the importance of creating one bundle which will include all music genre, that’s why we also decided to partner with Mdundo.com.”

Head of Telco at Mdundo.com Patrick Sambao added that the service works directly with 90,000 African artists and offers a catalogue of 1.6 million African and international songs.

“Mdundo has a very strong brand in Tanzania and we’re therefore pleased to launch our first telco bundle in this market. Vodacom has a clear and ambitious product team with a strong focus on delivering new and innovative solutions to the market aligned with the Mdundo vision,” said Sambao.

Mdundo says it has established a base of seven million monthly active users across Africa. Vodacom Tanzania adds that it has 15.5 million mobile subscribers.

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