Phone Number Verification: Way to Keep the Authentication Secure

27 January 2022

Phone Number Verification: Way to Keep the Authentication Secure

Our digital ecosystem provides us with a lot of different apps and options which bring ease to our day-to-day activities, from simple chores to work-related matters. According to Simform, an average person has 40 apps installed on his or her phone. Before using these apps, it is common for a user to be required to create an account by filling some forms related to the user’s identity. This process leads to a number of identity verification methods, from OTP to PNV.


What is PNV?

As the name suggests, Phone Number Verification (PNV) refers to an identity verification method through user MSISDN. It works as a method of verifying a user’s phone possession. PNV is similar to OTP, but it requires fewer user actions and saves a lot of time. It’s also a more subtle method of identity verification, as it does not require PIN. Instead, it takes advantage of SIM cards built in every phone.


PNV Use Cases

PNV holds a crucial role for both businesses and end users, as it provides an extra layer of security which protects both sides from cyberattacks. While cyberattacks can result in customer dissatisfaction, a security measure such as PNV acts as a defense which counters these attacks even before they happen. This security measure can be implemented in a lot of different cases. Vonage.com noted some of the most common use cases for PNV. Among the most common use cases, here are 5 of them.

  1. Registration Authentication. When setting up an app or a website that allows users to set up an account, there is always the risk of people setting up fake accounts. Such a risk also exists in giant companies such as Facebook, which removed 1.8 billion fake accounts in 2021. PNV can help businesses confirm user identity which links a user and a device. This measure also helps users build credibility for the business from which they use a service. Verifying a user’s identity has proven to be useful for any companies, especially those who provide apps for their customers.
  2. Upgrade Authentication. A lot of businesses offer different services and packages for their customers. Some of these packages come with the premium model, where users have to pay more for the services they choose. VOD platforms, for instance, come with a range of subscription selections, and some options are more premium than others. PNV can reinforce user security so that there can be easy and quick confirmation on an upgrade they request, eliminating the threat of unauthorized upgrades.
  3. Password Resets. Resetting an account’s password is a common security step, especially when there is risk of security breach. On some occasions, a user might request a password reset from another device with a different IP address. In these cases, PNV can serve as an easy and safe security measure which quickly confirms a user’s identity. The use of PNV for password reset requests has been implemented in several use cases, such as Gmail and Whatsapp.
  4. User Reactivation. Some businesses might have lost customer retention, especially during the pandemic. To respond to this kind of situation, some businesses might make innovations to invite old users to return and try a range of new things they creatively offer, from a fresh UI to new content and services. The users, however, might have changed devices. With PNV, old users can be authenticated quickly, especially when their new device is equipped with the old MSISDN.
  5. Transaction Authentication. Verifying a purchase made online is a crucial security measure that needs to be present in each business process. Juniper Research found that fraud cases globally cost businesses $20 billion loss in 2021, making transaction authentication more relevant than ever. While OTP and two-factor authentications have been a popular security measure to counter fraud, PNV provides a quicker and safer alternative which can mitigate fraud related to online transactions.

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