The importance of having accurate, reliable customer data cannot be stressed enough. E-commerce is booming but unfortunately so is online identity fraud. In 2019, one in every fifteen people had fallen prey to identity theft!
Fraud of this type doesn’t just affect the customer, it affects businesses and the way they are perceived too. Thus, organizations must take on the responsibility of keeping fraudsters from creating accounts with them. This is where identity verification comes in. There are many ways to verify a person’s identity but one of the easiest is phone verification.
In today’s age, people consider their phones an extension of themselves and this is one device they’re sure to carry along everywhere they go. Currently, around 70% of the world’s population can be identified with a mobile phone number. Phone verification is the ideal way to keep your customer database accurate and updated. This check can be performed when onboarding a customer as well as during the checkout process.
Why Phone Verification?
A person’s identity can be verified with their email addresses too. But, think about it – how many email addresses have you had over the years? Have you shut down the ones you don’t use or are they simply lying dormant?
On the other hand – how many phone numbers have you had? Maintaining email addresses is free but keeping phone numbers active has a small cost involved and so it’s not likely that you have too many dormant phone numbers. Here are a few more reasons why phone verification is important for customer data accuracy.
• Fake emails are easier to set up
Anyone can open an email account and it’s free. It’s easy to make a fake account look real. Also, as long as the password is known, anyone can operate an email address. But, if a person wants a new mobile phone number, they would need to provide documentary evidence to confirm their identity.
There’s a process of due diligence involved and hence it’s harder for fraudsters to get a new sim card. If a person loses their mobile phone, they’ll probably lodge a complaint and block the number but if they were to get locked out of an old email address, they may not pay as much attention. Thus, phone verification is more secure.
• Almost always accessible
Despite the growing internet network, there are still some places with poor or limited connectivity. Two-step verification checks for email addresses may be difficult in such areas. The mobile network is much stronger and even in places where there’s limited internet connectivity, a phone call or an SMS can always get through. Thus, validating phone numbers and making sure they’re updated, is much easier.
• Global in reach
With nearly 65% of the worldwide population currently owning a mobile phone, and an expected 3.8 billion smartphone owners by end of 2021, you should be fishing where the fish are! But you’ll need to make sure you work with a partner who can deliver phone verification security codes nearly anywhere in the world.
• Easy to use and scale
Phone verification services are available as pre-built solutions that require no further coding, processing, testing, etc. and can be used instantly. Whether you’re validating 100 phone numbers or 10,000, the process remains the same. It’s automated and hence manual effort involved is minimized. This also minimizes the risk of human error.
• Maintain friction-free communication channels
One of the key reasons to verify phone numbers is to maintain open channels of communication with the customer. Statistically speaking, the average conversion rate of an SMS campaign is 45%. Sending an individual a text message after initial contact increases conversion rates by 112.6%.
Similarly, when it comes to communication regarding order confirmation and deliveries, customers are more likely to respond to a phone call or an SMS than to an email. If the delivery agent needs to contact the customer for clarification with their address, he needs a phone number to call the individual.
Despite the growth of smartphones, there are still many who prefer to use a simple mobile sans the internet. As a business, you cannot afford to ignore this section of the population.
How Can You Verify Customer Phone Numbers?
Verifying phone numbers is easy. You don’t need to have a dedicated person calling each number to verify its authenticity. There are automated solutions to do this for you. These solutions have a global reach and are easy to scale.
The Phone Verification API pings numbers on your database and compares them to reliable third party databases such as government ID records to verify that they are active and linked to the correct individual. The verification happens in the background with minimal involvement by the business employees as well as the customer. Thus, the customer is not inconvenienced in any way and the organization gets reliable data.