One of our clients was using NamSor Origin API to validate international phone numbers and improve their SMS / text delivery rate to all carriers, globally. That was intriguing : how could the caller’s name help validate the contact’s phone number?
Travel and hospitality is an industry is global by definition. Each booking center for train, airline, hotel, car rental optimizes its customer acquisition by reducing the client on-boarding forms to their bare minimum. The data is consolidated into a global distribution systems (GDS) and hotel property management systems (PMS). Up to 10% of the phone numbers will end up either poorly formatted, or formatted as a local phone number.
Our client was struggling to deliver SMS or text confirmations to those 10% customers whose phone number was either poorly formatted, or formated to a local phone number. They were using Google’s libphonenumber for phone number validation, but unfortunately that requires a valid geography (a country ISO2 code) along with the phone number. Yet, with the contact’s name, it was possible to recognize a likely country of origin and then try to validate the phone number to the country. If the contact’s name is Italian, ex. Elena Rossi, why not try first to validate to an Italian phone number ?
This approach worked quite well and helped our client improve of 25% on their delivery rate.
With the launch of NamSor V2, we decided to take this one step further and create a dedicated API, apiphonenumber.com to bring a robust solution for international phone number validation. This new API takes as input the contact’s personal name (given name and family name) and the phone number (possibly in a local format). Then it returns a verified phone number in E.164 international phone number formatting.
For those 10% poorly formated phone numbers, API Phone Number validates and verifies about 95%-99%. What’s the magic ? The machine learning framework combines both the personal name’s likely country of origin or ethnicity, as well as the phone number formatting (if there is a ‘plus’ sign, if there are parenthesis, how many spaces, how many meaningful digits etc.)
You can try it online at
NamSor™ Applied Onomastics is a European vendor of sociolinguistics software (NamSor sorts names). NamSor’s mission is to help business owners and their management teams better understand international flows of money, ideas, and people in order to maximize profits and streamline efficiency.
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Image credits : Photo by Berkeley Communications on Unsplash
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