Mobile Identity Intelligence for trusted communications with Twilio Lookup

Mobile Identity Intelligence for trusted communications with Twilio Lookup
December 07, 2023

Twilio Lookup


Today's interconnected world has created an increased reliance on digital communications. As this landscape continues to evolve with technological breakthroughs, new challenges arise around maintaining secure and reliable channels of communication, specifically when it comes to ensuring a trusted interaction. 

The Twilio Lookup API, allows businesses to gain valuable insights on identity signals from phone numbers to optimize the customer experience and lower fraud vulnerability.

Lookup can be applied most effectively to a few critical use cases: confirm identity details, determine communication channel routing, and assess identity risk. 

Lookup offers a set of products that, if used together, can help businesses provide a secure and seamless experience for user registration, login, contact information changes, and other high risk interactions. 

Phone Number Identity

Twilio Lookup Phone number identity


Purpose: For businesses, the benefit of leveraging phone number identity lies in establishing a robust layer of security while ensuring a seamless user experience. In scenarios where identity validation is crucial—such as account registration, user login, and fraud protection—ensuring accurate user identity becomes crucial.

One common issue businesses encounter is the challenge of verifying user identities accurately during account creation or login. This challenge often arises when businesses need to confirm the authenticity of provided information and prevent identity theft, account takeover,  or fraudulent activities.

To tackle this issue effectively, Lookup Identity Match confirms phone number ownership during account creation, enabling subsequent possession factor checks. Cross-referencing user provided data against authoritative sources helps in preventing identity theft, while also ensuring the user has provided accurate information.

In addition to Identity Match, Twilio’s Lookup API also offers Line Type Intelligence, SIM Swap, and Call Forwarding, packages. When used together, these queries enable businesses to identify risks associated with the phone number, detect SIM changes, and uncover call forwarding, thereby protecting their systems from a wide variety of common fraud and identity theft schemes.

A real-world example showcasing the effectiveness of Lookup Identity Match comes from Tradier, where implementing this solution not only helped catch signals of fraud but also streamlined their sign-up flow. The business reduced identity validation time by 90%, demonstrating a significant impact on operational efficiency.

Phone Number Routing

Phone Number Routing Twilio Lookup

Purpose: Understanding phone number routing is critical for businesses in optimizing methods of communication and maintaining efficient user interaction. For example, if reaching out via Voice or SMS is possible and, whether the contact is feasible in real-time. Businesses that engage in marketing activities can find this extremely useful.

Line Type Intelligence helps identify whether a phone number is a mobile, landline, or VoIP, enabling businesses to control platform access based on approved number types. This insight assists in restricting sign-ups from certain number categories, ensuring compliance with business protocols and optimizing communication channels.

Line Status functionality ensures that a phone number is active and connected to the network before initiating any communication attempt. This information is particularly valuable for companies engaged in marketing promotions where contacting users incurs a significant cost.

One common challenge that organizations that use SMS services face is the aging of their phone number databases. Twilio's analysis found that a sizable percentage (13.7%) of submitted numbers did not support SMS. By ensuring that communication attempts are directed at compatible phones, Twilio's Line Type Intelligence may drastically decrease SMS expenses and streamline SMS campaigns.

Phone Number Risk Assessment

Phone Number Risk Assessment Twilio Lookup

Purpose: Understanding the risk signals associated with a phone number is critical for organizations in protecting themselves from fraud and ensuring regulatory compliance. Scenarios emerge frequently in which firms must assess the risk of potential fraud or verify compliance in order to prevent major fines and other similar consequences.

Preventing SMS Pumping Fraud and ensuring compliance with rules such as the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) are two essential scenarios. SMS Pumping Risk Score aids businesses in evaluating the risk associated with SMS-related fraud, particularly combating artificially inflated traffic. While Twilio offers Verify Fraud Guard and SMS Pumping Protection for similar fraud prevention, Lookup's SMS Pumping Risk Score offers added flexibility for businesses requiring more control or using multiple suppliers for OTP delivery.

Furthermore, for businesses engaged in SMS marketing, Lookup Reassigned Number ensures the ongoing validity of marketing consent by checking if the phone number still belongs to the user who provided consent. Contacting the wrong end-user, even unintentionally, could lead to substantial fines of up to $1,500 per message.

Lookup, the future of mobile identity 

Twilio's Lookup products demonstrate the company's dedication to enhancing communication security, accuracy, and efficiency. These mobile identity tools offer insights that foster trust with customers, strengthen security measures, and maintain communication as a dependable asset in their pursuits.

By focusing on these signals and verifying user-provided data, businesses can significantly reduce vulnerability to fraud while enhancing user experience. Streamlined onboarding minimizes friction, potentially leading to higher customer engagement and increased revenue.