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Tim Ward, VP of Number information Services at XConnect shares an overview of a discussion held during MEF Connects Personal Data and Identity, where he was joined by a panel of experts to explore trust in the mobile ecosystem.


At the MEF Connects Personal Data and Identity conference earlier this month, we hosted a panel discussion with Lee Suker from Sinch and Vladimir Gerneshii from GMS around reinforcing trust in connections, communication and commerce.

The two days of the event were packed with innovations in identity solutions that could revolutionise the industry moving forward. It’s an exciting time to be involved in these discussions, but, with all that innovation, it’s important not to overlook simple solutions that can be implemented now and provide marginal gains towards better trust in the ecosystem.

Every one of us probably has at least one phone number. If enterprises are trying to reach millions of numbers a day, then simple steps can make massive cost savings – does the number exist, does it belong to a valid number range? It’s such a basic check but we see as many as 10% of numbers queried via us are just wrong. That’s a huge volume of traffic a day that you can eliminate in the validation process before you start using more complex identification tools. Cutting out that rubbish has so much value to a business.

And, from an end user’s perspective – it’s vital they can trust the callerID that is coming in via message or voice. Carriers need to be checking that originating number is valid. That’s where initiatives like MEF’s SenderID come in ensuring there is trust in the channel that is responsible for delivery.

But, establishing all this trust can’t be at the expense of user experience and so it’s vital to establish a level of trust that’s appropriate for the transaction. Anyone can build a secure system, but not a system that everyone can use.

That is the trade-off between security and UX that will always be there…and it’s why tools like SMS 2FA aren’t going anywhere – it’s so ubiquitous and for low value transactions it’s a great solution.

So, these simple pre-checks on telephone numbers before messages are sent or calls are made can provide valuable information to start the process of establishing that trust in the ecosystem and can be incredibly valuable checks before more complex validation and identification tools are used.

Tim Ward

VP Number Information Services, Xconnect


MEF Connects Personal Data & Identity

MEF CONNECTS Personal Data & Identity: dive into all things PD&I and how PD&I is transforming every industry and society–from the ground up, from the outside in, and inside out.

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