26 October 2021

The Mechanics and Uses of Location Verification API

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One way to verify a person’s identity is to check on the person’s mobility. Places we frequently visit (for instance, our home, our office, our favorite coffee shops, etc.) can tell a lot about who we are and what we do. The data on our mobility helps businesses in a lot of ways, from adjusting user experience to securing transactions. Under normal circumstances, customer location data help business conducts run smoothly. But what if the location data is fabricated or tampered?


Address fraud is a common type of fraud where a person uses an address that is either made-up or belongs to someone else. By either stealing a document or using a fake data generator, a defrauder can not only make other people pay for debts they haven’t made, but also put financial institutions at a great risk. With address fraud being very common and easily made, manual verification wouldn’t be sufficient to catch up with the pace of address fraud. This is where useful tools such as Location Verification API can come in handy.


What is Location Verification API?

As the name suggests, location verification API is an API-based service to verify someone’s location (such as home or work addresses). With some data, the location verification API can estimate the actual current location of a customer. The tool is useful to build customer credibility in front of business institutions. Some location verification API comes with geocoding, which is the process of translating addresses to geolocation based on latitude and longitude. According to Google, these types of APIs can make it easier to access via HTTP request.


How does it work, really?

The short answer: it depends on the platform. To make it easier, we can take a look at MSIGHT, a reliable platform with Location Verification API services. First, a registered partner has to call the API with an MSISDN (simple term: phone number) that is linked with a home/work address. Several data are required for the API to work: the MSISDN, address information (up to the subdistrict/kelurahan level), and a zip code. The API will then calculate a distance-related score based on the registered partner’s request.


There’s another way for MSIGHT to calculate the score. This mechanism is more practical as Telkomsel would be the one to assign a work/home location based on the user’s mobility, the data of which is gathered as an insight. Required sets of data for this would be the user’s MSISDN and Telkomsel work/home location, obtained after months of observation from the previous step. Afterwards, the API will measure the distance between Telkomsel work/home location and territory information (address), before finally calculating the score.


MSIGHT’s Location Verification API estimation is categorized into 7 scores/zones. Score/zone 1 covers 0-250 meters of distance. Distance ranges of 250 – 500 m, 501 – 750 m, and 751 m – 1 km are categorized as zone 2, 3, and 4, respectively. Meanwhile, score/zone 5 and 6 signify a distance of 1001 m – 2 km and 2001 m – 4 km. Distance range above 4 kilometers is classified as score/zone 7. On average, data from actual active and effective use by our client reached 300k ++ hits per month, which is equal to 3.6 million hits per year.


But what do all these mean for my business?

Location verification API can benefit a range of business organizations. But organizations that would get the most benefits from location verification API are financial institutions, especially financial startups. A platform with a reliable location verification API such as MSIGHT can shorten data verification time, reduce chances of fraud, and provide updated data with dynamic profiling. MSIGHT’s Location verification API protects financial institutions from high-level risks related to ID and address fraud, allowing a safe and secure business development.


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