Verification serves as an effective method for securing your user base, reducing fraudulent or duplicate signups, and for two-factor authentication (requiring user to be in possession of the phone during signup).
Sinch verification products can be integrated into your Android, iOS, and web applications with our SDKs for Flash Call, SMS, and Voice verification, so that you can select the method that will work best for your users! But what happens when you’ve integrated verification, and you’re not seeing the success rates you planned for?
Today, I’d like to share some of the reasons verification fails, what you can do to increase success rates, and when a failure is a good thing.
Depending on how you have setup mobile verification for your users, there are always opportunities for user error. We all make mistakes! Here are a few tips for how you can minimize user error:
• Number Formatting – Provide your users with detailed instructions on how their phone number must be formatted. Providers want numbers in e.164 format, which includes a country code and no leading zeros. Luckily, Sinch has a text helper method in our Verification SDK to assist with number formatting. Don’t give your users the chance to make a formatting mistake!
• Plan for Typos – the screen should always display the number being verified. It’s very easy to tap the wrong number during a speedy input. Displaying the number and enabling a “Back” button will give your users the opportunity to correct their own input error.
• Clear Verification Codes – Make sure the pin code is clear and identifiable without requiring the user leave your app to open up the SMS application. An ideal setup shows the user their unique pin-code when the SMS notification comes in so that they can enter it into your app on the spot. The more seamless this process, the lower the signup friction.
• Throttle Multiple Attempts – In the event that a user didn’t receive an SMS or voice call and retries, As a best practice, Sinch recommends limiting verification retries to once every 30 seconds with a max of 3 attempts.
When traveling, users may switch out their SIM cards for international coverage. In the event that a user is attempting to verify his or her phone number with a SIM card other than the one registered to their device, they will receive a verification failure and will be unable to login/signup for your app.
How to combat this? Provide users with all of the information and requirements for verification. A number from a country that does not match the SIM card could be incorrect number formatting. If it truly does not match, then you can share an easy to understand failure reason when the verification is not successful. The more the user knows, the more likely they are to retry and be successful at the right time. And we should note, when a user is trying to verify a number that is not actually theirs, a failed verification is good! The technology is doing its job and securing your app and user base from fraudulent signups.
Sometimes a user will lose service, which results in the SMS not reaching the device. Other times the wrong number was input by mistake (see 1. User Error above) which also prevents the SMS from reaching the intended device.
Providing users with a backup method to complete verification can help to increase your success rates and account for any unforeseen failures. We offer Voice Verification as a strong backup method, which places a call to the user asking them to press a digit to confirm verification. If the digit is pressed, your backend is notified that the user is verified. We also offer Flash Call verification for Android, where ZERO work is required on the part of the user for secure verification. We recommend implementing a backup method to minimize failures.
In short, there are a number of reasons verification fails. Taking steps to provide users with a clean UX, clear instruction, and process transparency can lessen the chances for user error, and accounting for service disruptions on the user end by arming your app with a backup method can greatly increase success rates. If you have taken all of the steps to ensure on your end that verification is as seamless as possible for your users, then a verification failure is likely protecting your app from a fraudulent or duplicate signup, and therefore is a good thing.
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