Browse Definitions:
Definition

voice signature

A voice signature is a type of electronic signature that uses an individual’s recorded verbal agreement in place of a handwritten signature. It is considered legally binding in both the private and public sectors under certain conditions. A voice signature may also be referred to as a telephonic signature.

During the contracting phase of a telephone transaction, a company can use biometrics software to record a customer approving a transaction.  The recording is used to create a unique voiceprint, which is comparable to a fingerprint or retina, as no two voices are the same.  Once a voiceprint has been collected, it can be used to validate a person’s identity on later phone calls.

Under the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce (ESIGN) Act and common law in the United States, voice signatures are legally enforceable with the addition of certainty of terms. The certainty of terms documents that both contracting parties accept  “I Agree” statements. In order to be binding, the voice signature needs to be attached to the contract.  A standard solution is to embed the digital voice recording in the contract and use encryption to prevent the files from being disassociated or altered.  

Voice signatures benefit organizations by increasing conversion rates compared to conventional in-person, ink-to-paper methods. They can eliminate the long process that usually involves printing, distributing and waiting for the returned signed documents. In turn, organizations see real increases in customer service quality, levels of data security and conversion rates.

In the United States, voice signatures have played an important part in the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Telephonic applications and signatures are accepted for coverage through the Health Information Exchange (HIE), Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Plan (CHIP) programs across the United States. Under the law, however, collection and storage of voice signatures can vary from state to state.

Unfortunately, voice signatures can be misused with potentially negative consequences. An example is the can you hear me telephone scam where the victim is recorded answering "yes" to a question that will most likely be answered affirmatively. The affirmative response is then butt spliced to another audio file and used as a voice signature to authorize charges without the victim's knowledge.

To avoid becoming the victim of voice signature scams, the United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) offers mobile and landline phone customers the following advice:

  • Hang up immediately if a call begins "Can you hear me?"
  • Be suspicious of robocalls.
  • When speaking to an unfamiliar caller, be alert for any question that prompts the answer "yes."
  • Check bank, credit card and cell phone bill statements regularly for unauthorized charges.
  • Ignore incoming phone calls from unfamiliar numbers.
  • Do not return missed calls from unfamiliar numbers.
  • Report suspicious calls to the Better Business Bureau and/or FTC hotlines.
  • Consider joining the Do Not Call Registry.
This was last updated in March 2017

Continue Reading About voice signature

Join the conversation

1 comment

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

Do you use voice signatures in your organization?
Cancel

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:

SearchCompliance

  • pure risk (absolute risk)

    Pure risk, also called absolute risk, is a category of threat that is beyond human control and has only one possible outcome if ...

  • risk assessment

    Risk assessment is the identification of hazards that could negatively impact an organization's ability to conduct business.

  • audit program (audit plan)

    An audit program, also called an audit plan, is an action plan that documents what procedures an auditor will follow to validate ...

SearchSecurity

  • computer worm

    A computer worm is a type of malicious software program whose primary function is to infect other computers while remaining ...

  • black hat

    Black hat refers to a hacker who breaks into a computer system or network with malicious intent.

  • copyright

    Copyright is a legal term describing ownership of control of the rights to the use and distribution of certain works of creative ...

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • business continuity plan (BCP)

    A business continuity plan (BCP) is a document that consists of the critical information an organization needs to continue ...

  • call tree

    A call tree -- sometimes referred to as a phone tree -- is a telecommunications chain for notifying specific individuals of an ...

  • mass notification system (MNS)

    A mass notification system is a platform that sends one-way messages to inform employees and the public of an emergency.

SearchStorage

  • hybrid hard drive (HHD)

    A hybrid hard drive (HHD), sometimes known as a solid-state hybrid drive (SSHD), is a mass storage device that combines a ...

  • USB flash drive

    A USB flash drive -- also known as a stick, thumb or pen drive -- is a plug-and-play portable storage device that uses flash ...

  • open source storage

    Open source storage is data storage software developed in a public, collaborative manner that permits the free use, distribution ...

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • RRAM or ReRAM (resistive RAM)

    RRAM or ReRAM (resistive random access memory) is a form of nonvolatile storage that operates by changing the resistance of a ...

  • JEDEC

    JEDEC is a global industry group that develops open standards for microelectronics.

  • M.2 SSD

    An M.2 SSD is a solid-state drive (SSD) that conforms to a computer industry specification written for internally mounted storage...

SearchCloudStorage

  • Google Cloud Storage

    Google Cloud Storage is an enterprise public cloud storage platform that can house large unstructured data sets.

  • RESTful API

    A RESTful application program interface breaks down a transaction to create a series of small modules, each of which addresses an...

  • cloud storage infrastructure

    Cloud storage infrastructure is the hardware and software framework that supports the computing requirements of a private or ...

Close