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Text me! Maybe… Why phone number validation is essential in your digital space

Ah the humble phone number, an often-overlooked identifier for customers due to historical overuse of promotional SMS, unwanted cold calls from both genuine and phishing sources, as well as being a more established and therefore traditional form of contact.

In a lot of eCommerce businesses requesting a phone number during customer registration was and still is either an optional data point or one that is left out altogether. But in an era when genuine email addresses are outnumbered by fake, spam, and bot-created account many security analysts are looking for new and more secure customer validation solutions.

One is to validate email addresses, the other, unsurprisingly, is a phone number validation service, particularly in the mobile-first and app development space. You probably use live authentication SMS on a regular basis already – you register with a new online store and instead of another tedious account activation email that takes an age to arrive and ends up in your spam folder, you receive an instant SMS to your phone with an activation code that your mobile device automatically detects and inputs it into the authentication field in the website or app. Seamless.

Except that you entered your phone number incorrectly when you registered, and the message never arrives so you can’t get into your account because it hasn’t activated correctly.

So let’s take it back a step. Phone Number Verification at the point of entry is not simply about checking number formatting and correct number of digits. Fetchify’s Phone Number Verification service works in real-time to check the country and area code formatting is correct, the type of number – landline and mobile (cell phone) – whether or not it is a valid and active phone number and can even return details to you of the network carrier.

Integrating the service into your form field error handling to ensure a user can’t proceed with an invalid entry increases your data accuracy for genuine customers whilst also helping to reduce spam and fraudulent registrations for improved data quality. And of course, it ensures you can deliver that Authentication SMS for your seamless customer registration. If you take into account all the additional ways your business uses or could use phone numbers, across all customer interactions the true usefulness of phone validation becomes apparent. By using the Fetchify Phone Validation service you can make your accurate data work harder for you :

  1. Customer Segmentation – segregate customers based on country, area code and even landline v mobile. This is particularly important if you’re a non-eCommerce business where physical address isn’t required.
  2. Data Protection & Compliance – having accurate phone number information allows you to periodically reconfirm customer identity and maintain secure access.
  3. Prevent fraud – by verifying phone numbers are genuine and incorporating it into your registration authentication process along with unique instance use of both email and phone you can greatly reduce the influx of spam registrations that add no value to your business and impact your data quality and deliverability.
  4. Better CRM – reach out to customers on their preferred or additional channels to improve engagement, retention and LTV and make use of SMS promotional messaging.
  5. Better UX – improve your registration journey with a simplified authentication process and better accuracy over traditional methods.
  6. Improved communication – Reduce contact centre volumes with accurately delivered SMS comms for shipping updates. Capture accurate phone numbers for customer call-back requests for pre-sale and aftersales support.
  7. Data intelligence – track customer behaviour across platforms and channels with cross-platform authentication.

The value of data validation cannot and should not be underestimated. With billions of active phone numbers in the world a simple validation tool can significantly reduce your risks of a security breach whilst improving your customer satisfaction and trust scores.

About Fetchify

We are a pioneer in SaaS address lookup and data validation solutions. We process millions of data transactions each day for thousands of clients ranging from small e-commerce startups to large household brands such as Heinz and RBS. Our flagship products Address Auto-Complete and Postcode Lookup reduce friction on checkouts, leading to increases in conversion rate of up to 40%, and helps reduce failed deliveries by as much as 75%. Since launching in 2008, we have differentiated by our ease of integration and exceptional support.