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In a recent webinar Michael Power, MEF Future of Messaging Adviser is joined by Marco Lafrentz, VP of Business & Market Development at netnumber to explore ways to make trust in the mobile ecosystem more measurable, and why this should be a priority for the industry. Here Marco outlines his key takeaways from the discussion.

Trust is a difficult idea to quantify. But in today’s global communications ecosystem, it has become a critical metric that can be harnessed to improve operational efficiencies, optimize costs and boost fraud prevention.

Why Should Trust be Measured?

A shift in industry focus underlies the growing need for trust measurement. Previously, Communication Service Providers (CSPs), Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) and other industry participants were primarily concerned with speed and transmission accuracy in call routing. You wanted to make sure the call got to its intended destination. Today, it’s not only about where to route the call but also whether it should be routed at all. Increasing communications fraud has made it difficult for providers to ensure the accuracy and validity of phone numbers for transmission.

Part of the issue lies in the nature of the telecommunications industry itself. Data is highly fragmented, with many different and complex data sets, formats, varied pricing models and contractual arrangements”

Part of the issue lies in the nature of the telecommunications industry itself. Data is highly fragmented, with many different and complex data sets, formats, varied pricing models and contractual arrangements. At the same time, phone numbers go through a myriad of changes across a vast number of databases and registries during day-to-day communications. Against this backdrop,  it can become a very tedious and challenging task for industry participants to continually keep track of and verify a phone number’s validity.

Industry Seeks New and Better Solutions

There is so much ‘noise’ on the networks today in the form of unwanted transactions and unwanted communications that CSPs, MNOs, and other netnumber Global Data Services customers have begun seeking better anti-fraud solutions. Rather than using their own algorithms and processes to sort through the multitude of daily number transactions, many customers asked netnumber about tools to help them cut through the complexity:  ‘How can we get confidence into the traffic that we originate, we receive, and we transit? Is there a tool that would allow us to gain confidence in the accuracy and validity of numbers that are being used in communications?’

netnumber Confidence Index (nnCI) is Born

netnumber, an expert in phone number intelligence data, has been collecting data for over 20 years, distributing it to the industry for routing, rating, billing, data authentication and fraud prevention purposes. Essentially, netnumber provides the solutions that underpin the day-to-day operations for our customers.

The challenge was to take all this data, all these signals, and boil it down to something really simple and useful. That’s what we did with the nnCI, a proprietary confidence index and part of the NumeriCheck solution. The nnCI delivers an easy-to-understand numeric index that helps assess the validity, reachability and connectivity of each phone number and each transaction in real time. It accomplishes this by leveraging netnumber Global Data Services’ global, reliable and robust databases of phone attributes, providing mission-critical insights based on a range of rich data sets and connections.

The nnCI is also very flexible in that it can support a wide range of use cases: from SMS/voice origination and termination in the wholesale world to DNO and fraud prevention in the carrier world and further to user security and optimized communications for enterprises. With the nnCI, CPaaS, messaging and voice providers; carriers, MNOs and MVNOs; financial institutions; OTT and mobile services providers, and a host of enterprises and brands can harness next-generation vetting and validation processes across a range of use cases including:

  • User registration
  • Opt-in and user list management
  • Password reset
  • Invalid or fraudulent caller/ID detection
  • Fraudulent or invalid number destination detection

When a phone number is submitted via REST or ENUM API to NumeriCheck, netnumber conducts a lookup of all available network data points and activities in real time (including phone number behavioral patterns and number standardization and hygiene) to calculate a 0-5 confidence index ranking response. The higher the rank, the more confidence the phone number is valid, connected and reachable.

For customers, this important service enables them to make informed decisions about how – or if – they want to interact with each phone number. A low score can mean that a number is invalid, disconnected, unreachable, or has been associated with fraud – there are so many reasons why a phone number can get a low score. The nnCI gives customers the information they need, when they need it, to make the best decision about the number’s path. This resulting clarity can improve efficiency, reliability, user experience and risk mitigation for participants throughout the mobile ecosystem.

Marco Lafrentz

VP, Business and Market Development at netnumber Global Data Services