CUNA releases the latest findings on authentication for credit union call centers

New white paper explores voice authentication and other digital methods for verifying identity

PLANO, TX (December 14, 2021) — The Credit Union National Association Technology Council has gathered insights from FinTech experts and credit unions to explore important trends in identity authentication. The white paper, “Let’s See Some ID: Building Smarter Internal and External Authentication”, covers a variety of methods to improve security for member and staff-facing applications. The full download is available to CUNA Council members through the organization’s website (see how to join here).

Barb Lowman, President at CUNA Strategic Services, recommends this educational resource for any credit union that is seeking to enhance security measures around identity verification. “We have found that strengthening organizations against fraud and unauthorized access is a strong focus for credit union technology leaders. It was time to do a deep dive into this topic, highlighting state-of-the-art solutions that are available now and how they can benefit credit unions and their members.”

Why Is Authentication in the Spotlight Now?

Across the industry, credit unions have done an excellent job of keeping member accounts secure. However, this has come at the cost of a high-friction authentication process that can make it hard for members to access their own account information. Gartner Research found that knowledge-based authentication has up to a 30% false failure rate due to members forgetting answers to security questions.

Credit unions also report that account takeover attempts using information gleaned from social engineering and data breaches are becoming increasingly common. White paper contributor and TruWest Contact Center Manager Katie McAtee commented that her agents have noticed repeated fraud attempts from identity thieves trying to slip past security. “Probably our biggest fear is that the fraudster has somehow obtained the member’s information, and now they’re calling and trying to gain access to the member’s online banking.”

CUNA’s white paper covers a number of digital solutions that can replace traditional Q&A and prevent this problem.

FinTechs Are Stepping Up to Solve the Authentication Challenge

Voice biometric solutions such as Illuma Shield™ designed specifically for contact center interactions offer a seamless and highly fraud resistant way to bolster security. This approach has the added benefit of reducing average call handle time by passively verifying members during natural conversation.

Helping members keep their accounts safe is part of the equation, but how they experience that security is just as important. According to Illuma CEO/Founder Milind Borkar, “What we’re helping credit unions do is bring that warm, pleasant, personable experience from the brick-and-mortar environment into the contact center without sacrificing security. That’s the key benefit we talk about with credit unions when discussing contact center use cases—the importance of improving the overall member experience.”

About Illuma Labs

Illuma Labs is a credit union service organization headquartered in Plano, Texas. The company’s flagship product, Illuma Shield™, replaces traditional knowledge-based authentication practices with an effortless and secure real-time voice authentication solution to enhance member experience, improve operational efficiency, and prevent fraud. Illuma Labs is the exclusive provider for CUNA Strategic Services and has industry endorsements in 34 U.S. states. For more information, visit 

About CUNA Technology Council

CUNA Councils are a member-led, collaborative community of credit union leaders providing vibrant peer interaction, new ideas and innovation to foster professional development for our members while advocating for the overall success of the credit union movement.  The CUNA Technology Council is one of eight CUNA Councils, a network of more than 7,600 credit union professionals. For more information, visit


Milind Borkar, CEO
(972) 217-7106

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