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MGIC INTRODUCES SPEECH-ENABLED VERSION OF DEFENDER IVR SYSTEM.

MGIC Investor Services Corporation, an affiliate of Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corporation (MGIC), has launched a speech-enabled version of Defender.

Defender, an interactive voice-response and web-response system helps mortgage lenders to prioritize and manage call volume by offering customers timely, accurate responses to questions 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Mortgage customers will be able to compare their existing payment and rate information to current market rates and loan products using simple voice commands. Defender clients have the option to upgrade to the speech-enabled version.

Currently, Defender handles 12 million loans representing 25 percent of the country's outstanding mortgage loans.

"Speech-enabling Defender is a great way for lenders to reinforce and promote their brand," said Mike Zimmerman, vice president - Mortgage Banking Strategies, at MGIC's Capital Markets Group. "In the business of mortgage lending, customer retention is a real challenge and the opportunity to enhance brand image is crucial."

"With the addition of speech recognition technology, mortgage customers will have an additional level of convenience when using Defender," said Mark E. Marple, vice president - Mortgage Banking Strategies, at MGIC's Capital Markets Group. "The speech recognition feature will allow customers more flexibility by providing hands-free access to loan information."

Boston-based SpeechWorks International, Inc. (NASDAQ:SPWX), a provider of speech technologies and services, will provide the speech recognition software to Defender. "We are excited to partner with MGIC on this important enhancement to Defender," said Steve Chambers, chief marketing officer at SpeechWorks. "Speech recognition provides an easy to use interface to access information and conduct transactions, creating greater convenience for callers and a cost-effective solution for our financial services customers."

About MISC

MGIC Investor Services Corporation (MISC) provides mortgage credit and prepayment risk analytics to lenders. Through MISC, lenders can tap into MGIC's capital markets expertise for purposes such as due diligence, portfolio analysis, originator/wholesaler matchmaking, and servicing rights brokering.

About MGIC

MGIC, the principal subsidiary of MGIC Investment Corporation, is a provider of private mortgage insurance coverage with $196.6 billion primary insurance in force covering 1.7 million mortgages. MGIC serves 5,000 lenders with locations across the country and in Puerto Rico, helping families achieve homeownership sooner by making affordable low-down-payment mortgages a reality.

MGIC can be found on the World Wide Web at http://www.mgic.com.

About Defender

Powered by MGIC's proprietary Neural-Net Prepayment Model (NNPM), which predicts prepayment probability and produces prepayment speed estimates, Defender is a state-of-the-art Interactive Voice Response (IVR) and Interactive Web Response (IWR) system. As part of Defender, NNPM identifies which borrowers are most likely to prepay their mortgages, providing a prepayment score that can be used to determine how calls are routed through Defender's SmartQueue system. Customers with a high probability of prepayment can be moved to the top of Defender's queue and handled promptly by a loan agent. Customers less likely to prepay are provided access to "what if" payment calculators as well as current rates and applicable online information.

About SpeechWorks

Organizations worldwide trust SpeechWorks to manage their customer conversations. As a provider of speech technologies and services, SpeechWorks helps companies create and implement unique Speech Strategies that ensure maximum financial return and the highest levels of caller satisfaction. The company provides speech recognition, text-to-speech (TTS) and speaker verification for network and embedded environments, including new multimodal devices with both an audio interface and visual display. SpeechWorks' customers include carriers, corporations and government organizations, such as America Online, Citibank Europe, CIBC Bank, IRS, Microsoft, and United Airlines.

SpeechWorks can be found on the World Wide Web at http://www.speechworks.com .

For more information, call 617/428-4444.
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Title Annotation:MGIC Investor Services interactive voice response system
Publication:Audiotex Update
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 1, 2002
Words:599
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