Cell phones make communication easier and quicker, but there’s one drawback. They’ve made it easier for fraudsters to target lenders, insurance companies, and a host of other industries where trust is a key factor. A new service from Whitepages Pro, however, could change the game and add a new layer of security to get through for bad actors bent on fraud.
Whitepages Pro is a subsidiary of Whitepages Inc. Started by Alex Algard in 1997 while pursuing a masters degree at Stanford University, Whitepages.com provides customers a free and unambiguous online directory assistance service. In 2005, Whitepages raised $45 million in its first round of funding from two investors–Providence Equity Partners and TVC. Today, Whitepages is a leading provider of contact information in North America with over 55 million monthly users.
Despite enjoying a strong customer base and great traffic flow, Whitepages.com and 411.com were not structured for the needs of financial institutions. Whitepages Pro was formed to serve exclusively the business needs of the corporate market.
In 2012, Whitepages Pro was established as an Application Interface (API) and web-based service with headquarters in Seattle, Washington. Additional offices were opened in New York and Budapest. Approximately 500 million users from around the world fill its database. There are three vital parameters to the Whitepages Pro business model:
- Different APIs for different products.
- Pay-per-transaction volume; the pay-as-use service helps businesses try the product before committing to long-term licenses.
- Users can also access Pro products via license for a particular time period.
One user license starts at $300 per month. That makes the service affordable even for the startup community.
Whitepages Pro’s flagship service is called Global Identity Verification and uses a phone number as a global identifier. The service then organizes information gathered on its users into data sets that connect a identities to physical addresses, mobile phone numbers, email addresses, and IP addresses.
Pro API helps online lenders fight against identity fraud and other malicious acts. The web form links with Identity Check API and helps the lender identify combinations of IP addresses, phone numbers, and IP names. It also helps to reduce new account fraud. The company is able to create the link between data provided by the user and the information retrieved independently. This helps determine the creditworthiness of the prospective borrower.
Identity Check and Reverse Phone API are also useful for e-commerce, FinTech, and travel and hospitality companies.
Whitepages Pro is integrated with risk management solution providers Accertify and Cybersource, and serves airline companies like JetBlue, Alaska Airlines, and American Airlines. The airlines use Identity Check and Reverse Phone API to avoid fraud in ticketing and reservation processes. Pro products also provide improved reservation review to travel companies by alleviating risk before the booking is approved. It automates the reservation process by reducing the manual review queue and speeds up the reservation process with RESTful API. Retail and e-commerce companies use Identity Check and Reverse API in the same way for quickly identifying risky transactions and processing orders at greater velocity.
Financial services enterprises can also benefit from the APIs. Web lookup services utilize consumer identity assessment, call tracking, and linkage services that visually connect a person, phone, and address to risk signals and house-holding attributes. FICO integration provides dynamic data to FICO customers. Casualty insurance companies Bank of Internet USA, Progressive, and Prudential use combined FICO and Pro scores in their risk assessment practices.
Whitepages Pro API streamlines creditworthy applicants using Identity Check, and it catches fraud applications in the infant stage of lending so lenders can screen for risky borrowers.
Global Identity Verification and Lead Verify API rely on dynamic mobile data to find loan applications with high risk through Identity Check. Only prioritized applications with complete and valid demographic information are provided to lenders.
Whitepages Pro’s data comes from credit bureaus, public records, utility companies, telecom companies, and similar sources. The company also uses advanced data science to curate useful information.
WhitePages Pro clocked $ 70 million in revenue in 2015. It operates in 30 countries and is currently beta testing Identity Check in Europe, South America, and Asia. The company started with eight FinTech clients. It now has 150.