Number Validation services should not be a one-size-fits-all solution.  Services founded on regular expressions do not work and services created from HLR Lookup alone are unreliable and potentially expensive.  XConnect’s VAR solution provides different service grades to support different use-cases. 

Basic Number Validation

Used in B2C markets for onboarding customers using online forms. In real-time without impacting user experience, determines if a number exists within a national regulated number plan, whether the number is fixed or mobile and if the number is the correct length.

Enhanced Number Validation

Used in B2C markets as a batch process or in real-time to determine if a number has been allocated to an individual by the telecommunications service provider therefore removing bad data from the CRM.

VAR by XConnect

Mobile Messaging

Used in businesses such as banks who want the latest validation information prior to sending a high value message such as an SMS one-time-password. Failed deliveries are avoided and positive customer experiences created as alternative methods are used to reach customers.

Contact Centre

Used in business such as utilities who want the latest validation information prior to customer call-backs. Customer may have left messages on voice-mail, emails, web-forms providing call-back information that requires validation prior to using expensive call agent time.

VAR by XConnect

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Comparing Number Validation Services

The table below sets out common techniques for performing number validation along with the limitations of those methods.  The table lists the techniques used by different Number Validation services.

Method XConnect's VAR Code Libraries HLR Lookup Providers Number Range Specialists

Dialing a Number

Number Validation accuracy is high, but has limited scalability and is slow.  In most jurisdictions, calling a number to check it is live breaches privacy and telecommunication regulations and is a common practice of fraudsters, known as Wangiri fraud.  

No No No No

Regular Expressions

Number Validation accuracy is poor and usefulness is limited to  performing simple length checking and country code checks. Global telephone numbers formats vary and each national regulator is responsible for managing number assignments with a international standard called E.164.

No Yes No No

International Number Ranges

This is the best data sources for basic number validation applications.  Using the assigned E.164 number ranges is a much better way of performing basic number validation than regular expressions.  However, validation accuracy requires the aggregation, normalisation and maintenance of several number range data sets.  Your service provider must have deep numbering information experience to achieve good results. 

Yes Yes No Yes

HLR Lookups

This is a good method of validating mobile telephone numbers although used in isolation HLR Lookup can be  expensive and unreliable.  Performing a HLR lookup has been the defacto method for validating mobile numbers for years.  In many instance a more basic validation technique would be more cost effective but if HLR Lookup is the best method then the service provider must first perform basic validation and aggregate from multiple sources in order to manage consistent data quality. 

Yes No Yes No

Operator APIs

Operator APIs are not widely available.  Some telecommunication service providers have introduced web services APIs.  This is the best source of information although currently they are expensive and nearly always only provide information about telephone numbers that belong to that network.

In Development No No No

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