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First Orion: Branded Calling Will Re-Establish Trust in the Phone Call

Eleftherios Papoulias Alamy Stock Photo_.jpg

Image: Eleftherios Papoulias - Alamy Stock Photo
First Orion, a provider of phone call and data analysis solutions, and Neustar, an identity resolution provider, expanded their partnership last month to accelerate enterprise adoption of branded calling and STIR/SHAKEN call authentication via a single consolidated platform.
 
Branded calling adds a company's name, logo, and reason for calling to the call screen. Its purpose is to protect consumers from robocalls and call spoofing by leveraging STIR/SHAKEN call authentication. STIR/SHAKEN is a collection of protocols and procedures designed to combat caller ID spoofing on public phone networks. When combined, both elevate and ensure the trustworthiness of the content displayed to the call recipients.
 
Mike Coleman, SVP, channel chief, First Orion, Scott Hambuchen, CIO, First Orion, and Jason Torrey, VP of Business Development & Partnerships, Neustar, recently spoke with No Jitter. They discussed the value of this extended partnership, how these integrated solutions can benefit the customer experience, and security priorities that should be top of mind for organizations this year.
 
“By branding calls at scale, we're re-establishing the trust in the phone call and giving the consumer assurance the call they are receiving is authorized and can be answered without the fear of being scammed or phished,” Mike Coleman, SVP Channel Chief, First Orion, said.
 
Responses have been edited for conciseness and clarity.
 
First Orion and Neustar have expanded their partnership to accelerate the adoption of branded calling and STIR/SHAKEN call authentication for enterprises through one consolidated platform. How does this partnership advance branded calling for the benefit of both customers and end-users who receive the calls?
MC: This partnership helps further the adoption of branded calling and STIR/SHAKEN call authentication by providing enterprises access to a compelling solution that allows them to solve the real business problem of engaging with customers via the phone channel. Together, First Orion and Neustar deliver nearly 100 million branded calls each month—a number expected to increase drastically in 2022 as more businesses adopt the technology.
 
In what ways does branded calling work with STIR/SHAKEN call authentication?
JT: Increasingly, mobile devices provide a verification mark on incoming call screens to inform consumers about the authenticity of the telephone number making that call. STIR/SHAKEN powers this authentication mark—the international standard and deployment framework deployed to combat robocalls and spoofed calls.
 
When combined with branded calling—which adds rich content like the caller’s name, a brand logo, or images that show who is calling and the reason for the call—it further elevates and ensures the trustworthiness of the content displayed to the call recipients.
 
In support of our mission to restore trust in calling, Neustar, a TransUnion company, and First Orion have joined forces to accelerate the adoption of STIR/SHAKEN call authentication in combination with branded calling.
 
First Orion and Neustar customers include financial institutions, healthcare and insurance organizations, retailers, and government agencies. Can you provide concrete examples of how this partnership can improve a government agency’s call answer rates? How can the partnership help enhance the customer experience a retailer offers? Or reverse revenue loss?
MC: About 90% of consumers don’t feel comfortable answering unidentified calls, primarily due to the number of scam calls they receive. In 2021 alone, there were an estimated 110 billion scam calls, 88 million scam victims, and $44.2B in scam losses in the U.S.
 
Branded Communication allows businesses to customize mobile displays for outbound dialing that deliver call context to consumers’ devices—including full name, business logo, and the reason for calling. In the retail space, providing customers with this kind of context when calling has led to a 39% increase in contact rate. A more specific benefit of Branded Communication for retailers is an increased engagement rate when contacting customers to ensure someone is home to receive a delivery.
 
For example, a retailer currently utilizing our INFORM branded caller ID solution is experiencing a cost savings of $100 per avoided missed delivery.
 
What steps is First Orion taking to mitigate illegal robocalls?
MC: When businesses use Branded Communication, their calls are verified through the carrier network and displayed as verified on the consumers' device—a complex method of authentication that helps prevent numbers from being spoofed.
 
Businesses utilizing Branded Communication are vetted upon registration with a "trust-but-verify" model using multitudes of complex sources and processes. Fraud prevention against illegal robocalls leverages complex anomaly detection models and processes integrated with carrier networks and platform providers that are constantly updating to defend against the latest tactics used by bad actors.
 
First Orion's technology is designed with integrated STIR/SHAKEN and Rich Call Data (RCD) capabilities. In addition, First Orion has carrier-grade solutions embedded in large Tier 1 carrier networks with proven results in communications protection solutions.
 
The STIR/SHAKEN framework and Branded Communication technologies, when combined, inform the call recipient of the reason for the call and its legitimacy. Upcoming solutions will enhance the Branded Communication offering by requiring an even more stringent authentication process for calls before they hit the network.
 
Name some security priorities that should be top of mind for organizations in 2022. What makes these priorities so important?
SH: Reputation monitoring, call authentication, and branded communication are critical security components protecting [companies’] brand. Scammers continue to negatively impact consumers and the companies they illegally spoof. Businesses that care about brand reputation should care how they show up on the phone when calling customers. Consumers do not answer calls from unknown numbers. However, consumers confidently answer calls from companies embracing trust and transparency and utilizing branded communication solutions. Make branding mobile device communication top of mind for organizations in 2022.
 
Don’t miss First Orion at Enterprise Connect in Orlando, Fla., March 21-24. You can find our complete list of exhibitors here.

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