September 10th, 2018

Why Restoring Trust Is Important in Today’s Communications Environment

Even with the focus on digital transformation, mobile calls remain an important way for consumers and businesses to communicate. But the phone also remains one of the top gateways for fraudsters to scam consumers. In fact, it’s been estimated that 1 in 10 American adults lost money in a phone scam in the past 12 months. On average, each scam victim lost $430, which translates into a cumulative total of about $9.5 billion.

Caller intelligence and caller ID display services play an important role in restoring trust for people picking up the phone. We invited Gorkem Yigit, Senior Analyst at Analysys Mason, to be a guest author on our blog. He outlines solutions currently available for communications service providers (CSPs) and enterprises looking to better protect consumers and improve business operations.

Communications service providers step in to protect subscribers

Growing regulatory pressure on CSPs to protect customers from fraudulent call activities (robocalling, number spoofing etc.) is a key driver for CSPs to consider the tools and processes they should implement to mitigate illegal robocalls and caller ID spoofing. In particular, CSPs should assess their capabilities to:

• Accurately detect and warn of or block illegal robocall and fraudulent call activity

• Accurately detect and prevent caller ID spoofing through call authentication and verification

The ability to authenticate and digitally sign a calling-party number is a capability the recently developed STIR (Secure Telephony Identity Revisited) and SHAKEN (Secure Handling of Asserted information using toKENs) frameworks provide.

It was initially expected that implementation and widespread adoption of these standards would take a number of years. But recent regulations put in place in the U.S. by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and in Canada by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) call for faster implementation timelines.

Enterprise Solutions to improve operations

Businesses from the local pharmacy to national retailers all should understand the impact of caller ID spoofing on their business. Consumers still prefer phone calls for urgent notifications or to discuss complex issues or sensitive information. However, the rise of fraudulent calls, especially in North America but increasingly in other markets, such as the UK and Europe, have caused customers to not answer their phone when they are not certain who is calling. According to Boston Consulting Group, this results in 88% of important B2C calls going unanswered, which is a big cost and missed opportunity for businesses.

Solutions are available that enable enterprises to incorporate ‘additional context’ into their outbound calls, such as company logos, photos, messages, websites and social media links. This allows them to enhance their brand identity and establish trust with their customers. In addition to giving enterprises the opportunity to take advantage of the growing smartphone screen, in effect using it as a digital billboard, it also helps their customers quickly identify who is calling them and why.

An example of this could be a telecom broadband technician calling from his mobile phone to confirm the time and location for a line installation. Instead of an unrecognizable number coming up, the caller ID will appear with the telecom company’s logo and a photo of the technician. With this feature, the homeowner is more likely to pick up the call. This could be an important way of preventing additional truck rolls due to missed appointments, which have been estimated to cost technology firms more than $1,000 in associated costs.

In today’s environment, caller intelligence and caller ID services play an important role in combatting robocalling, telemarketing scams and caller ID spoofing. By enhancing their calling ID and robocall mitigation services, CSPs have the opportunity to improve the subscriber experience and comply with increasing regulations. For enterprises, enhancing their outbound caller ID enables them to provide more personalized and secure customer calls, increase B2C call answer rates and lower customer care costs.

About the author

Gorkem Yigit is the lead analyst for the Video and Identity Platforms programme and a contributor to the Digital Infrastructure Strategies and Network Automation and Orchestration programmes, focusing on producing market share, forecast and research collateral.

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