Patelco reaches all members at lower costs

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Increase in completed high-value transactions
Improved member usability and experience
Increased growth in online banking
“We are now able to deliver OTP security tokens to all members regardless of phone type or data connectivity issues”
Nilendu Saha
Director, Software Engineering and Enterprise Architect
Financial Services
Contact Sales



Patelco Credit Union was founded in 1936 to serve the financial interests of the Pacific Telephone and Telegraph Company employees, which is now part of AT&T. Over the years, Patelco has been working towards a clear vision of becoming the preeminent credit union that helps its members achieve financial freedom through innovative products and services, trusted value, high reliability, and a hassle-free service experience. As such, they are returning superior value to their member–owners.

Patelco focuses on protecting member account access from cyber criminals who attempt to compromise online accounts and complete fraudulent transactions. To do that, Patelco utilizes a secure multi-factor authentication (MFA) security system that requires more than one method of user authentication from independent categories of credentials to verify a member’s identity at account login or during a high-value transaction, for compliance to the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) requirements.

The Challenge

Multifactor authentication to verify the identity of users is a critical FFIEC requirement for financial institutions offering internet-based products and services. Patelco’s authentication process allowed for members to receive an OTP security token via email or SMS-based text message to a member’s on-file phone number. Many Patelco members were unable to complete the authentication process because they were not receiving their OTP security tokens sent via SMS--mostly due to members having phones that were not capable of receiving text messages or not wanting to receive SMS. Patelco was also experiencing an increase in support calls with members stating their OTPs sent via email were not being delivered due to internet and data connectivity issues or inability to access email causing the member’s MFA process to stall. Both of which were causing the Patelco security user experience to decline.

Woman at laptop phone in one hand and credit card in the other

The Solution

Patelco chose to enhance their MFA security system to include the option of sending OTPs over voice call using TeleSign Voice Verify, since every phone number is capable of receiving a phone call. During the authentication process, Patelco generates an automated text-to-speech voice call to the member’s phone number listed on file. The call verbally delivers a secure OTP security token and prompts the user to enter the credentials online or through the mobile application to continue the login process or completing a high-value transaction. Patelco realized that a voice call is actually the fastest security option and it’s much more universal, as they are able to reach all members with no limitations and regardless of phone type or internet and data connectivity.

For Patelco, Voice Verify was extremely easy to implement, as they already had a security authentication workflow in place. All they had to do was add a new function to the flow of  sending OTP over voice call to a phone. Patelco members can now select to have their OTP security token sent to them via voice phone call as well as SMS text, or by email. Many members are selecting to receive a voice call to complete the authentication process to a secure landline, home or office phone number. A landline is a more secure channel, fraudsters cannot steal a landline number, which can happen with a cell phone.

Increase in the number of successful logins and completed high-value transactions

Voice Verify has helped Patelco maintain FFIEC compliance and securely protect account access for its members.

OTP security tokens are now reaching all members during the authentication process. By adding voice calling as another authentication option, Patelco has seen an increase in the number of successful logins and completed high-value transactions.

Ensured ability to reach all members and at lower costs with voice authentication method

In the past, Patelco was not always able to properly send OTP security tokens to their members. Members often complained about not receiving emails in a timely manner or at all impacting the login process. Voice authentication has ensured that Patelco is now able to reach and connect to all members. Voice authentication has also proved to be cheaper than sending SMS. Patelco is saving on authentication costs because many of their members are opting for a OTP phone call, as it is a faster channel, more secure and reliable.

Improved member usability and experience, resulting in increased growth in online banking

Patelco is quite happy with TeleSign’s Voice Verify because it has helped them improve member usability and overall user experience. According to Nilendu Saha, Director, Software Engineering and Enterprise Architect, “secure OTP voice calls are branded coming from Patelco which helps to assure members this is a legitimate security experience.” Members are stating that this new authentication method is less troublesome and easier to understand. As a result, Patelco has started seeing more growth in their overall online banking adoption.

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