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Using SMS Phone Number Verification For Security and Marketing Success

Form Optimisation

Figures show that 6% of phone numbers inputted into online forms are entered incorrectly.

That means 6% of telephone contact data is useless: a missing number, a wrong number or a made-up number will all leave you with a gaping hole in that customer’s set of information.

Whether it’s done accidentally or deliberately, this data accuracy challenge is going to affect conversion rates and restrict your marketing activity.

The answer is surprisingly simple: verifying customer phone numbers by SMS will help keep your database clean and profitable.

And for some heavily-regulated industries, such as online gambling, it adds another level of security to a complex registration process.

How Does SMS Verification Work?

Adding a phone number verification API to your online form is a simple and effective optimisation which quickly confirms the identity of your new customer.

It works by sending a pin code via text message, in real time, to the mobile number inputted on your form. The customer then types the code into the form and you get the reassurance that the number they’ve given is valid, accessible and actually belongs to them.

With confidence in your data, the door to your new customers’ mobiles is unlocked and you can fully incorporate them in your SMS marketing strategy.

Adding SMS verification to your form will bring you several business-boosting benefits:

  • Moves users through your form smoothly while creating a professional, “we care” impression, increasing the chance of completion and conversion
  • Provides reassurance that you’re signing up and reaching real people, allowing you to communicate efficiently with them in future
  • Personalises your brand as you can add a message to the pin code text and create a customer dialogue during the sign-up process
  • Improves the accuracy of your customer database
  • Saves money by reducing the number of undeliverable text messages
  • Provides the opportunity to use SMS as part of your marketing strategy: for instance, once a customer completes your form, you can send a welcome text
  • Adds an extra layer of security to reduce instances of fraud and spam attacks

With 96 billion texts sent in the UK in 2016 and with 94% of adults now owning a mobile phone, using these millions of handsets during the sign-up process is a quick and easy UX optimisation.

SMS Verification for Specialist Sectors

SMS phone number verification is especially useful in industries such as gambling when confirming identity is crucial to meet legal requirements.

The legal requirement for “remote”, or online, gambling companies, to check the identity of everyone who wants to sign up and place a bet calls for an ID verification process that ensures:

  • Every player meets the minimum age requirement of 18
  • Existing players who have opted for self-exclusion (preventing themselves from logging-on to a specific site because of addiction concerns) aren’t trying to register under a false name
  • The identity of every player can be guaranteed, reducing the risk of money-laundering and other types of fraud

The Gambling Commission requires all licensees to regularly review their verification processes “as technology advances and as information improves” – which means keeping up-to-date with new UX optimisations is vital.

Our research into mobile gaming registration forms reveals that only two companies – Leo Vegas and Green Man Gaming – are using SMS phone number verification.

This is a missed opportunity for the other 41 gambling sites whose forms we analysed who are leaving themselves open to the risk of poor, inaccurate data.

Minimising human error while inputting data such as phone number is key: naturally, it will reduce customer frustration at the time of completing the form but it will also improve their chances of being verified quickly.

With 72 hours to verify a new subscriber, during which time no gambling is permitted, the sooner a user is verified, the sooner they can start betting and the sooner your bottom line is boosted.

Incorporating SMS verification into your user-friendly Know Your Customer (KYC) process could reap rewards for both you and your new customer. Fewer failed verifications will mean less frustration for them and higher turnover for you.

Once you’re up and running with your in-form SMS verification API, you’ll soon see the mobile number column of your database fill up with accurate, useable numbers.

These can then be used to deliver marketing messages from the launch of new online games, the latest odds and account updates.

This simple UX trick will ensure you can communicate with your customers instantly via the power of the mobile phone.

image representing average form conversion rate uplift from using Formisimo From 0% to 24% Form Conversion Uplift Get the insight that increased form conversions by 24% (and rising)
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