Introducing Our New API: Verify

Published November 19, 2014 by Parth Awasthi

The two most important questions organisations must consider everyday are – how do I protect my business, and how do I protect my users. The context of these questions may vary across organisations, but they are constant across scale and scope. For some, these are questions of security because they need to ensure users can trust the business and each other. For others, they mean protecting their business from targeted attacks because they transact in high-value real or virtual commodities. For others still, they mean being able to acquire and subsequently reach the right users. Coupled with the fact that no business ever has enough time, most often they have to make compromises which may impact both businesses and ultimately their users.

We’re delighted to present to you Verify, the newest addition to Nexmo’s Cloud API family – a product tailored to put these concerns to rest.

In order to protect both customers and their business, most organisations will relate to the need for establishing trust and ensuring reach with their customers. Both Trust and Reach depend on the ability to establish a genuine identity for transaction. On the other hand, phone numbers are among the best forms of identity to establish genuity of – they’re most widely available, easily accessible, hard to fake and very hard to feign ownership of. Thus, a phone-based user verification solution resolves almost all trust and reach issues that businesses face today.

Verifying phone numbers is no easy task on its own. SMS as a product is terrific but not without vagaries of deliverability. Phone call-based verification as an alternative can increase costs for a business, and is harder to implement. Additionally, there are challenges of scaling infrastructure to demand, country-specific regulations and complex user behaviour patterns. To top it all, global SMS-based 2FA conversion averages at 65%. This also prevents several companies from implementing a secure verification workflow, since losing 35% customers in the acquisition funnel can practically mean being out of business!

Having delivered SMS & Voice traffic globally to over 2 billion phones, Nexmo has the expertise necessary to resolve the complexity of this problem. Verify is a secure, cloud-based API designed to allow organizations to get to market in the least possible time while minimising their costs. It verifies a user’s phone number and their access to it by challenging them with a code-based verification sent to their phone number. Based on the phone number and the locale/country being verified, it adapts to determine which verification method works best – SMS or Voice call. If the first verification fails, Verify retries twice, choosing the best channel for verification for each retry. This maximises the opportunity for a user to verify themselves.

In order to ensure minimum latency, Verify leverages Nexmo’s Adaptive Routing™ to use the best possible route to deliver verification messages. Nexmo’s direct connections with carriers in most major destinations ensure that SMS arrive in a timely manner across the globe. Verify determines the content of the SMS/Voice call, including the PIN code length and language to be used, based on the user’s phone number. The verification message is also optimised to conform to the applicable country-specific or telco regulations. The API automatically rejects VoIP numbers from verifying, thereby protecting businesses from users trying to fake their identities. Security is further fortified by Verify managing code expirations to ensure old codes are rendered unusable.

Working with several early adopter partners we have noted the incredible, tangible value that Verify delivers. Most clients were able to implement the API in a matter of hours using the documentation. Coupled with a strong implementation, Verify delivers anywhere between a 10% to 25% uplift in global conversion average. Most importantly, since customers only pay upon conversion, it helps customers have complete predictability around costs and minimise their onboarding/verification costs.

We believe Verify will help organisations across all industries scale a seamless transition from older methods of verification. All you need to get started is your Nexmo account – if you don’t have one already, sign up here. Take Verify for a spin, we’re sure you’ll love it.