On platforms like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook or YouTube, verification badges let users know that an account is well managed by the company, personality or creator they represent. This also helps to avoid identity theft problems since even if several Facebook pages have the same name, we know to trust the one who has the verification badge.
Google wants to offer a similar mechanism for phone numbers. In 2019, the Mountain View firm launched verified SMS. In essence, when you receive a text message from a company, Android's Messages app can display a notification to let you know which organization sent you that message.
And after SMS, Google also wants to secure phone calls. In a post published this week, the firm announced the new functionality for its Android Phone application. “Businesses often rely on phone calls to reach new customers and serve existing customers. But here's the problem: Customers often don't answer the call if they don't recognize the number. They fear that it is spam or, worse yet, a scam ", explains Gal Vered, Product Manager.
A verification badge inspired by social networks?
To solve this problem, Google therefore wants to position itself as a kind of trusted third party who will guarantee that it is, for example, your bank that is calling you, and not a scammer who wants to steal money from you. How it works ? For example, if the bank is calling you, the Google Phone app will display a badge to indicate that it is a "verified" call. The app will also indicate the identity of the company calling you, as well as the reason for the call. Google says that during its testing, the use of this verification system by companies increased the response rate.
“A wide range of businesses and institutions used the verified calls during the pilot project. For example, banks calling to alert a customer to a possible fraudulent transaction can increase response rates by indicating the reason for the call. A food delivery or logistics company can do the same to make sure customers are available to receive their deliveries. ", says Gal Vered.
The Google Phone app, which is already preinstalled on some Android smartphones, will also be available for download for other models so that anyone with a compatible smartphone and living in a country where the feature is available can access it.
But unfortunately, Google has decided to roll out this new call verification feature gradually. Indeed, initially, it will only be available in the United States, Mexico, Brazil, Spain, and India. However, the company assures that it will be available in other countries later.
In addition to increasing the response rate of businesses that call their customers, this feature could also, in the long run, reduce the number of people who get ripped off by phone scams. This is because if a phone number isn't in their phone book or verified by Google, a user might be more likely to respond. Otherwise, as a reminder, there are also third-party apps on Android that allow you to protect yourself from phone spam.