New technologies have been leading to numerous changes in human interaction and in recent years a lot of these interactions have switched online in mass – hailing a cab, buying or selling items, even dating. In order to participate consumers are constantly being asked for private information and among this private information a mobile phone number is one of the most important ones as it gives the ability to contact the person using it whenever and wherever.
This is why people are reluctant to share it freely and need assurance that the number will be kept private and secure and rightfully so! There are many threats in giving out your mobile phone number with unwarranted spam calls, scams and identity theft being the most known. These threats aren’t imaginary as hackers can use JUST your mobile phone number to easily break into your bank account, email, social profiles and more. There are even government websites devoted to helping the victims of identity theft and scams.
Number Masking is designed to address the need for privacy and anonymity modern consumers have, giving them great customer experience and the latest security standards. It is ideal for businesses that share customer information with 3rd parties, allowing direct communication without the need for an external operator or the need to share sensitive contact details.
Number Masking is used to provide communication between buyers, sellers, delivery service staff, drivers and many more with customers without exposing their phone numbers. Instead of connecting two people directly, a bridge is used to connect them and safeguard their private information.
What can Number Masking do for you?
Security and privacy are the main concerns when talking about giving out personal information, but they're not the only benefits of implementing Number masking.
PRIVACY AND SECURITY – personal numbers of both parties are masked, giving them anonymity and creating a secure environment without a disturbance in communication.
CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE – knowing that your real number is safe will make the end-users more comfortable and ready to communicate with your business or other end-users.
COMMUNICATION CONTROL – firstly by setting up auto response voice messages to control the time when users can interact to each other and secondly by keeping the parties engaged on the platform and thus preventing them from otherwise engaging in private communication.
OPTIMIZATION – by using number masking there is no need for an operator whose job it is to manually connect parties.
How does Number Masking work?
Let's use an example of something almost everyone has done recently, calling a taxi. In the image below you can see the Number masking architecture.
Bob is looking for a cab. He does not have internet connection to hail a cab inside the taxi company’s app. He would like to make a call to a number and get connected to an available driver and tell him where he should pick him up.
Bob calls a number (DID) that the taxi company promotes.
Infobip IP Core receives the call from Bob and makes a request to the company’s platform on what to do with this call. This is done over the company’s API that they have exposed to Infobip.
The platform responds what to do with the call.
- Forward the call to a Taxi driver and change Bob’s caller ID
- Play Bob an Audio file - e.g. "There are no taxi drivers available, please call again later."
Based on the instruction from the platform, Infobip IP core performs an action and, in this case, connects Bob with the appropriate driver. Also, the TAXI company platform can be setup in a way that a DID number can be reserved for direct communication between the Bob and Taxi driver.
The driver receives a call with caller ID 63329996600 and talks to Bob. Based on the TAXI company platform setup the driver can call Bob back and inform him for example that he will be 20 minutes late.
Anonymity and privacy are key for modern business
For a company that needs to deal with sensitive information such as people's mobile numbers, be it cab aggregators (taxi services), e-commerce platforms, e-booking/rental agencies, various government and non-government organizations that need to have safe and anonymous calls, dating sites, it is not an option to have a number masking solution, it is the key to having a modern functioning business.
People value their privacy and anonymity more and more, despite the fact that we're living in the social media era where we let people peek at our lives - but this happens on our terms, we choose what to share with the world. Using Number Masking sends out a message that you value not only the customer’s information and privacy but the customer also.