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Written by: Pindrop

Contact Center Fraud & Authentication Expert

We recently hosted a webinar with and Desert Financial Credit Union (DFCU) to discuss better securing call centers in today’s rapidly changing environment. The authentication process can be clunky and time-consuming due to long handle times and excessive security questions. Our integration with equips organizations with passive authentication, taking just 3-5 seconds of a caller’s net speech to quickly and safely authenticate genuine customers while keeping bad actors out, thus enabling call center agents to provide a more seamless process.

Since August 2022, Pindrop and have partnered to provide seamless experiences in organizations’ contact centers by leveraging Pindrop’s anti-fraud and authentication solutions and’s AI-powered chat and voice bots.  

For six months, Desert Financial Credit Union has been utilizing the integration between Pindrop and to arm their call center with Pindrop® Passport for passive, secure authentication as well as implementing’s AI-powered voice bots. We’ll share some of their findings since the implementation below. Here are the speakers we pulled in to host a webinar. We wanted to share our top questions about this great new technology on the market.


David Tevendale
Partner Alliances Lead
Hailey Crundwell
Sales Leader
Sara Candelaria
Assistant Vice President
Desert Financial Credit Union
Chase Tarkenton
SVP & General Manager, NA

Question 1—How has Desert Financial Credit Union improved its caller experience while modernizing and expanding its authentication approach? 

DFCU’s contact center is split between the sales center and service center, and together, they accept upwards of 600,000 calls annually. They did not have a voice-enabled IVR, making its human-centered but outdated and in need of automation and reporting. Fraud detection and mitigation also heavily fell on the agent’s leg. With 450,000 members and growing, the credit union needed a solution to infuse advanced fraud detection with a better customer experience. Within six months, Sara Candelaria, DFCU’s Assistant Vice President, provided success metrics around the Pindrop & implementation: 

  1. Dee, DFCU’s AI-powered automated voice bot, addresses about 10% of the credit union’s overall call volume and successfully enrolled 6,000 members in voice biometrics in the six-month timeframe. 
  2. Of the 6,000 enrolled members, 2,700 have called back into the call center and were serviced without an agent or security questions. 
  3. Dee handles about 30% of inbound calls without sending them to an agent, saving 1,100 hours of manual agent work. 

Question 2—What are the top trends around contact center authentication for financial institutions? 

According to Hailey Crundwell, one of Pindrop’s panel speakers, it boils down to three major themes:

  1. Enabling and increasing self-service Self-service in the call center allows for IVR containment. Pindrop helps by passively authenticating the customer sooner in the call cycle without them needing to answer Knowledge-Based Association questions (KBAs) or key-in numbers.
  2. Delighting the customer with a positive call experienceBeing able to self-service, if a customer chooses, reduces the length of the call time for the customer and helps them quickly and safely get what they need. If a caller prefers to speak with an agent, the agent no longer needs to ask qualifying questions so they can focus on relationship-building. 
  3. Building and protecting a solid brandAccording to Warren Buffett, “It takes twenty years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.” From an authentication standpoint, customers want a quick calling experience and to feel like their data and funds are protected and safe with their bank or credit union. In the past several years, the amount of fraudulent calls and transactions has grown, and consumers want to know that their bank is doing everything possible to protect them. 

Another excellent example of AI helping the customer experience is Dee, DFCU’s automated voice bot. She can quickly serve and automate customers’ needs by transferring money between accounts, executing account transactions, pulling account balances, and providing FAQ knowledge, totaling about 4,000 unique conversations that can be had with members without any agent interaction.

Question 3—How can we expect AI to help the customer experience in the future? 

“Folks are capturing so much data on their customers today that with generative AI being infused into some of the tools that you’re using, it gives you the ability to have the hyper-personalized experience that we all crave,” says Chase Tarkenton, SVP & General Manager at From the customer side of the house, every call shouldn’t feel like the caller has to start fresh. For example, the call center agent or automated voice/chatbot should know the customer’s name as they call in. 

Another trend Chase discussed was the democratization of what used to be complex technology that required data science teams. Organizations no longer have to build everything on their own. 

Question 4 – How can a small-to-medium-sized bank or credit union implement Pindrop’s security measures and’s AI-powered voice or chatbots? 

For many financial institutions with lots of stack for customers, it can be difficult to know where to start implementing better technologies to automate systems and processes. “We don’t have a team of 300 people working on this initiative like big banks. We have a team of two people, but we started with one person in charge of this entire initiative,” says Sara. Assigning a point person who is invested in success markers can make the journey to better AI-powered processes possible and scalable.

It’s also about finding a solution that provides support and partnership. Pindrop and are both solutions and companies that offer support along the journey to securing call centers in the future. Start the conversation with a tech provider to see how they can help with the implementation process. “We’re flexible about what your tech stack looks like, what you’re trying to achieve, and what factors make the most sense for your goals, no matter the size or scale,” says Chase. For an organization starting with this initiative, find someone in your business who is excited about this topic. Start with’s Academy to learn about virtual agents, and check out Pindrop’s authentication page for more education. 

What Passive Authentication in Call Centers Will Look Like Going Forward

As Chase mentioned toward the end of the webinar, omnichannel solutions are a big trend that could change the ability to answer simple customer questions and create more future pathways that don’t involve agents. Authentication can be a great place to boost caller and agent experience. Voice biometrics and authentication have come a long way, and financial institutions like Desert Financial Credit Union are seeing the benefits of leveraging this technology.

If you’d like to learn more about implementing Pindrop and in your call center, click here to talk to a rep today.

About Desert Financial Credit Union:

Desert Financial was founded in 1939 in Arizona by fifteen educators. Those fifteen educators grouped with just $78.75 in their pockets because they wanted to make a difference. They’re founded on a mission to have fun and celebrate their clients’ success. “I worked for Desert Financial for seventeen years and have seen us grow tremendously. During that time, we’ve always stayed true to our mission. The member experience is at the heart of everything we do, every decision we make, every vendor that we onboard, every change, every branch that we open,” says Sara. There is a genuine desire to do good for the community, and they are tremendously committed to their member’s financial well-being. 


In 2016, founders were presented with an exciting problem to solve for a financial banking institution. “They asked how do we create deeper relationships with our clients through technology, but we can’t compromise on compliance, and we have a predictable outcome every time,” says Chase. They also wanted to create a platform that ensured that the virtual agent’s voice you implemented represented a company’s brand voice. 

Now, they have 500 customers using the platform, and over one hundred financial institutions are part of that. Conversational AI is centered on leveraging technology to get the outcomes right for your business. Forty percent of existing clients used some form of AI but needed to achieve the desired results. Global companies today rely on financial institutions to grow and scale, so having the right technology in place to mitigate fraud from occurring and stunting that growth can make all the difference.