Article by Richard Catlin - 23rd May 2019

Could Your Voice Pass A Credit Check?

Speech recognition has come a long way in a relatively short period of time and is now a fairly accepted part of everyday life.

Whether it’s asking Alexa whether you’ll need an umbrella today, telling Google to play your ‘waking up’ playlist, or getting your car (“Hey, Mercedes”) to adjust the temperature slightly without moving a finger, the functionality of voice technology is expanding all the time.

Your voice as a security check

Uses for voice recognition aren’t restricted to just trivial or lazy functions though. Many telephone services (including HMRC) now allow you to use voice recognition as part of their security checks, as belief grows that it is harder to fake biometrics than it is to hack personal information.

Because voices, much like fingerprints and retina scans are unique to their owner, new applications are being explored all the time, including ways it might be used to predict behaviour.

"Siri, what's my Credit Score?"

Now, Israeli company Voicesense claims that one of the things its own voice analysis algorithm is able to do is predict how likely someone is to default on a loan. It claims to be ‘in discussions’ with banks over potential uses for the technology, following promising results in testing.

It is highly unlikely that voice analysis would ever be used as a sole means of determining a credit application, but it isn’t beyond the realms of possibility that it could play a part in supplementing traditional credit scoring in the future.

One of the reasons credit scoring has proved so reliable as a means of predicting Creditworthiness for such a sustained amount of time is that the foundation for decision making is in how you’ve managed similar agreements in the past. That has consistently been proven to be a strong indicator of future behaviour and crucially, can’t be manipulated.

That last point is where another frequently touted alternative method of assessment, social scoring, falls down far too easily.

If you know what a potential lender is looking for (in terms of things like who you are linked to, the sort of language you use and how you use social media) it’s not difficult to behave in a certain way that gives no real indication of what you’d really be like as a borrower.

Knowing what is held on your Credit Report and how a typical lender is likely to interpret it is an important step in improving your chances of being accepted for credit in the future. It’ll allow you to verify that everything is correct, check that you’re doing everything you should (such as being on the Electoral Roll) and see when information is due to be automatically removed.

There are four Credit Reference Agencies in the UK, and checkmyfile is the only place you can see your payment history as reported by Equifax, Experian and TransUnion together in the same format. It’s the most detailed Credit Report in the UK, and also has the top rated customer service of any Credit Report provider on independent review site Trustpilot.

If you haven’t already, you can try checkmyfile free for 30 days, which you can cancel at any time online or by phone or email. After the 30-day trial, it’s £14.99 a month until cancelled.

Whether or not voice recognition moves from “Ok Google” to “Please can I borrow some money” remains to be seen, but in the meantime, you can give your Credit Rating the recognition it deserves with checkmyfile.

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