Companies in sharing economy (ride-sharing, food/grocery delivery, etc.), fintech (micro-lending, cryptocurrency, etc.), marketplace, e-commerce, and social network relies on SMS to send one-time password (OTP) for phone verifications to onboard real users, and also as two-factor authentication (2FA) to ascertain a user before allowing her to proceed with a critical transaction.
Poor SMS OTP deliverability, at the very least, creates a jarring user experience, but more than likely, will turn away a potential user during sign-up or scar an existing user with major inconvenience, resulting in churn.
Therefore, you want to be able to quickly detect, and overcome any SMS deliverability issues.
However, because sending an SMS is a hop-by-hop process involving multiple parties, detecting deliverability issues requires a complete view/feedback loop of all the hops, while troubleshooting requires collaboration. Both of which complicates diagnosis and delays resolution.
Your single best hope is to reach out to your SMS provider customer support, and when you do these are the top 5 responses that you do not want to hear because it leaves you feeling completely helpless.
The Honest Response
“We’re having an issue with delivery right now. Our engineers are looking at it. We will have an update soon.”
You appreciate the honesty, and it could possibly be resolved quickly or not. You can only hope and pray it will be the former.
Verdict: Not good?
The Blind-Eye Response
“Everything looks good on our side”
You feel like stabbing yourself for choosing to integrate with this provider. Your users are being locked out, and customer support just flushed your hope for quick resolution into the drain by not even offering any sort of assistance.
Verdict: Time to ditch this provider?
The Teacher Response
“We need more phone numbers that are having OTP issues from you to investigate further”
Like a forum response accusing you of seeking an easy way out by asking for an answer to your homework, the customer support is demanding some proof that you are having a real issue by making you do some work on your end first.
Fair enough. However, the provider should have data on other customer OTPs that are using the same routes, which they can use for investigation.
Verdict: Frustrating but play along with the inconvenience, and hope?
The Tai-chi Master Response
“Our downstream providers are looking into it”
The SMS provider deflects the issue to its downstream providers to absolve itself of blame, except that it does not. They chose that downstream provider, and then had no backup for that downstream provider.
Verdict: If they don’t follow up fast enough, it’s time to say goodbye?
The “I Tried” Response
“We’ve adjusted your SMS OTP routes” (but there is no improvement)
You have to at least appreciate what constitutes an effort. However it is not working. As the famous quote goes “Do or do not, there is no try”
Verdict: If their best is not good enough, time to switch to another provider?
The Best Response From Your SMS Provider
At RingCaptcha, we are integrated with all major global and regional providers. Furthermore, we can integrate with a new one within hours. We constantly send and measure OTP response time and conversion rates to figure out the best routes per country/phone carrier.
In short, we improve reliability through a 3-prong approach.
We put your OTPs on the best routes based on the country and phone carrier they are destined to. This proactively minimizes deliverability issues.
For each customer, we monitor their OTPs by provider, country, phone carrier based on failed status rate, and also OTP conversion rate.
A spike in failed statuses alerts us about OTPs that are being outright rejected by providers, which can be due to settings, e.g., customer using an alphanumeric sender id in SMS when country regulations forbid it. Failed statuses can also arise when a provider is having delivery issues, or a provider is deliberately rejecting traffic as it deems traffic as malicious.
A drop in OTP conversion rate enables us to detect OTPs not being delivered or an ongoing attack.
Just switch it! That is what RingCaptcha does when we detect provider delivery issues.
Given that we have many alternative routes through different providers, it is highly likely that we can find an alternative path that works when the best route is failing. We can switch first and ask questions later, to minimize downtime. Thus in principle, you will not hear these top 5 dreadful responses that makes you feel helpless if RingCaptcha is your provider.