Treat Genuine Users Like VIPs with Frictionless Authentication

August 04, 2022
Written by

Frictionless Authentication Hero

The average American checks their phone 344 times a day. That’s roughly once every 4 minutes.

That near-constant and now second-nature interaction has set the bar on experiences that mobile apps have to match - or exceed - if they’re to attract and retain new customers.

For the customer today, life’s about the destination, not the journey. They’re with you for your product or service, not the sign-up process. Through the customer’s ever-present devices, hundreds if not thousands of businesses constantly compete for their attention. Even a fraction of a delay or a small point of friction in your sign-up process can make the difference between a successful sign-up and a lost customer opportunity. The margins between a great customer experience and an abandoned one are oftentimes fine.

Business has an abandonment issue

Businesses know that friction, particularly around identity verification, results in lost and wasted revenue, with 42% of consumers report having abandoned an onboarding process due to friction. These are often customers a business has paid to acquire, representing not just lost revenue but also wasted acquisition spend.

But this issue doesn’t only affect the first tentative steps of a new customer’s journey. Verification friction throughout the customer journey leads to customer churn – customers you’ve transacted with successfully in the past fail to return.

Ensuring responsible growth

It’s important to remember that identity verification isn’t just about protecting your customer from fraud. It’s also about protecting your business.

Midsize and enterprise organizations in the US lose nearly $700 billion a year due to data skewed by fake traffic from bots and fake accounts. These fake users can be a reputational risk too. Businesses with user numbers inflated by fake accounts will be at some point called to account, with consequences for their brand and even their company valuation.  

Artwork showing a character authenticated and walking into a laptop screen

Trust and verify your customers with carrier data

The standard approach to identity verification today means that, regardless of whether they’re fake or legitimate, every prospective user goes through the exact same friction-ridden verification process at onboarding. Some genuine users abandon the process, some fake users get through.  

What businesses need is a way to recognise and treat genuine customers like trusted VIPs. That means giving them a fast and entirely friction-free onboarding process, while fake users are identified and prevented from onboarding at all.

But how can this be achieved? It’s helpful here to think for a moment about how you use your mobile phone. When you travel internationally, your mobile phone automatically switches to the local carrier network and the correct billing is applied to your account. This all happens without any input from you, the user.

Mobile carriers around the world are trusted and secure custodians of our personal information – who we are, our SIM card data and our individual phone numbers. Leveraged in the customer journey, the carrier data infrastructure which underpins mobile networks has the power to automatically and silently verify your genuine customers so you can treat them like VIPs.

Now Twilio offers its customers the opportunity to use this deterministic SIM data and carrier infrastructure to securely and swiftly authenticate users. By connecting with carrier APIs, Verify can instantly decide if a valid SIM number, device and user name are being used in any login or transaction. Fake or fraudulent users can automatically be identified, with genuine customers presented with intelligent onboarding experiences that are friction-free by default - not the other way around.  

The benefits of this new SIM-based approach to authentication is that the system is ready to step in with additional checks and balances whenever there’s a perceived risk or anomalies. Where the data is inconclusive, the prospective customer is required to complete additional security checks via failover technologies such as PIN-less SMS or biometrics.

Give your genuine customers a new VIP fast-lane

This SIM-based authentication will make the trade-off between enhanced security and friction-free user experience a thing of the past – liberating both businesses and buyers.

It leverages carrier data in a novel and secure way to create a VIP onboarding that silently verifies legitimate customers. This, in turn, results in greater conversion and less churn for businesses. Research shows that every dollar invested into onboarding solutions by companies returns $412 in customer lifetime value. Now that onboarding can be friction-free, that already significant return on investment is sure to grow.

With Twilio’s SIM-based authentication, identity verification is transformed from a frustrating hurdle for customers to jump over time and time again into something as straightforward as… well, as using a mobile phone.

Find out more about Twilio Silent Network Authentication and SIM-based ‘silent’ authentication here.

Aaron joined Twilio in 2021 and leads Twilio’s Identity, Verification, and consumer business. Aaron brings more than 20 years of leadership experience at the nexus of consumer internet, fintech and security. He has helped to build and scale some of the world’s most beloved products. He previously served in product leadership roles at Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft, Twitter, and most recently as GM/CPO of where he built the National Digital Identity for the nation of Sierra Leone. Built fully on the block chain this product was awarded Global Prize for the 2020 World Bank Mission Billion Challenge.