How to Evaluate a Phone Validation API

Accurate phone numbers are crucial for smooth business operations, especially in today’s digital landscape. Whether it’s for customer sign-ups or marketing campaigns, having valid phone numbers ensures better communication and reduces frustration. This is where a phone validation API comes in; it helps validate and enrich phone number data, improving its overall quality.

But with numerous phone validation API providers out there, selecting the right one can be overwhelming. Here’s a checklist to guide you through the evaluation process:

Core Validation Capabilities and Examples:

Beyond Syntax and Length: Does the API validate phone numbers for more than just format and number of digits? Look for features like validity checks and carrier identification.

  • Example: Imagine you have a user input field for phone numbers. Basic validation might only check for the correct number of digits and a valid format (e.g., 10 digits for US numbers with area code, country code optional). A robust phone validation API would go beyond this by performing an existence check – verifying if the number is actually assigned to a carrier and can receive calls/texts. Additionally, it might identify the carrier associated with the number, which can be helpful for routing purposes.

Ported Information: Does the API consider ported numbers (when a user switches carriers but keeps the number)? Basic validation might only rely on the area code (NPA-NXX), which becomes unreliable with porting.

  • Example: Let’s say a customer signs up for your service using a phone number with a specific area code (NPA-NXX). Basic validation relying solely on the area code wouldn’t account for porting. The Phone Validation API should consider ported information to ensure the number is still associated with the original area code and hasn’t been transferred to a different carrier or linetype in a new location.

Connectivity Status: Can the API determine if the phone number is active and connected, or disconnected and unusable? 

  • Example: Imagine running a promotional SMS campaign. If your phone validation process fails to identify disconnected numbers, a significant portion of your messages may not reach their intended recipients. This can lead to wasted marketing budget, inaccurate campaign results, and a negative customer experience for those who receive error messages.

MVNO Carriers: Ensure the MVNO carriers are recognized to determine the true owner of the phone. This helps identify fraud and prioritize leads. 

  • Example: A number might belong to MVNO carriers like Google Voice, which NPA-NXX-based carrier information or even data providers that terminate at the originating carrier might not be able to provide.

Data Quality and Refresh:

  • Real-time vs. Dated Data: Real-time data ensures the highest accuracy, reflecting any changes in carrier or line type. Dated data may miss crucial updates, so it’s important to know how often the data is updated
  • Data Sources: Though it can be difficult to confirm, understanding the provider’s data sources helps assess accuracy. 

Performance and Scalability:

  • Response Times and Scalability: Are the phone validation API response times fast enough for your needs? Can the API handle increasing validation volumes as your business grows?

Reliability and Support:

  • API Uptime: Investigate the provider’s uptime history. What has been the API provider’s availability in the last 90 days? Consistent availability is vital for uninterrupted service.
  • Pricing: Compare pricing models and ensure they scale with your business needs.
  • Integration and Support: Evaluate the provider’s documentation quality, support resources, and ease of integration. Responsive customer support is a plus.

Additional Considerations:

  • Location and Timezone: If your business requires location or timezone information, ensure the API retrieves it based on ported information, not just area code.
  • Fraud and Spam Scores: Some APIs offer scores to assess a number’s risk of fraud or spam. Evaluate these scores based on your specific use case to avoid unnecessary filtering.

By following this checklist, you can effectively assess phone validation APIs and select the one that best meets your requirements. Remember, a well-chosen phone validation solution can significantly improve phone number data quality, leading to a smoother user experience and better business outcomes.

If you want to know more about Trestle’s Phone Validation API, feel free to look at our API documentation or contact us.