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What is the caller authentication process?

Header showing authentication process

Caller authentication is critical to eliminating illegal robocalls, scam callers and call spoofing, and helps protect branded calls from being spoofed by fraudsters. TransUnion Trusted Call Solutions includes Branded Call Display (BCD), a call branding solution that leverage STIR/SHAKEN call authentication to help businesses reach more customers, enhance engagement, improve the customer experience and restore trust in the phone channel. But businesses are trying to determine “what is call authentication?” It is a critical element to branded calling for businesses.

What is call authentication?

In 2023, it was estimated over 55 billion robocalls were made to Americans, according to the YouMail Robocall Index. But more than just a nuisance, these call scams cost Americans over $29 billion. And it’s not just consumers who are affected – businesses are too.

Based on our internal research, 88% of business calls go unanswered because customers fear illegal robocalls, phone fraud and call spoofing. And, according to a recent TransUnion consumer survey, the cost of missed connections when consumers don’t answer calls is steep: 73% of consumers have ignored a call due to security and fraud concerns — only to learn afterward it was legitimate.

Thankfully, there are solutions available today that are making an impact in the war against robocalls, spammers and spoofers. One of the methods is through voice call authentication. This occurs when service providers and enterprises work together to certify legitimate calls get through and illegitimate calls from bad actors are blocked. For consumers, voice call authentication provides an added layer of trust, giving them the confidence to answer their phones.

Learn More: Can We Talk? Honest Answers About How Businesses Can Protect Their Outbound Phone Calls

How does phone call authentication work?

Call authentication leverages the STIR/SHAKEN framework to automate the end-to-end process of authenticating a call. STIR/SHAKEN are industry-developed protocols and frameworks designed to combat illegal call spoofing by verifying the caller’s identity.

  • STIR (Secure Telephony Identity Revisited) is a set of technical standards and was developed to verify a calling party is authorized to use a specific telephone number
  • SHAKEN (Signature-based Handling of Asserted information using toKENs) provides a governance framework for service providers to use when implementing STIR-using IP networks

Call authentication works by originating and terminating service providers verifying the caller is authorized to use the telephone number. During the call verification process, if the signature and telephone identity are validated, a visual notification can be displayed to the called party, marking the call as either verified or suspicious. With call authentication, when customers receive a call, they’ll no longer have the nagging thought, “How can I know if a call from the bank is real?” and will instead have the confidence to answer.

What is the caller authentication process?

Today, there’s still a universal consumer cry for help to determine if it’s safe to answer phone calls. Along with service providers, there are enterprise and call center verification best practices that play a huge role in helping subscribers confidently answer their phones when they ring.

Businesses can participate in this process by registering their outbound telephone numbers to help ensure their calls don’t get blocked or mislabeled as spam, and adopting branded calling so customers are more likely to pick up.

So, how do you verify the authenticity of a caller? The caller authentication process establishes a chain of trust so the recipient of the call can be confident the caller ID has not been tampered with. For enterprises wanting to protect their customers and businesses when placing outbound calls, branded calling leverages STIR/SHAKEN, along with enterprise-supported call registries, to authenticate calls and present them with the company logo – raising the odds of getting answered.

Through the combination of rich call content and STIR/SHAKEN call authentication, branded calling enables businesses to reach more customers and improve their experiences — while reducing call spoofing and fraud.

Businesses can get more details about Branded Call Display (BCD) here, and to learn how Spoofed Call Protection (SCP) helps businesses reduce call spoofing, click here.


Do you have questions? Our team is ready to help.