Google announces Verified Calls to identify genuine callers
"Verified Calls in the Google Phone app."
Google has announced the Verified Calls feature for its Phone app. At a time when many users face the peril of spam callers and are uncertain to receive calls from unknown numbers, this feature will come in handy as it will identify genuine calls. Verified calls will also state if the caller is authenticated by Google and will state the reason for their calls.
Verified calls will show a blue shield icon that features a checkmark, business name, logo, and number. The call reason field will include messages like confirm transaction activity, food delivery, and flight time changes. Google asserted that it does not collect or store any personally identifiable information after verification.
As per Google, this capability materially improves answer rates, similar to Verified SMS that was launched by the company last year. Verified Calls in the Google Phone app will first roll out to the US, Mexico, Brazil, Spain, and India.
Google Phone app will be available on non-Pixel Android devices and comes preloaded on many Android phones. It will be available for download starting later this week on even more Android devices, according to Google. Users can download it from PlayStore in case their smartphone uses a custom dialler.
The feature will mainly tackle phone call frauds. Google cited a 2019 FTC report that found that phone calls were the number one way people reported being contacted by scammers. "While most people said they hung up on those calls, those who lost money reported a median loss of $1,000. Spam and scam calls erode trust in businesses and increase costs to consumers," Google noted.
The verified calls feature is also likely to reduce business costs. This is because businesses attempting to reach out to customers will face fewer rejected calls with the feature in place. While piloting the feature, Google observed that Verified Calls improves the likelihood of someone answering a call.
"For instance, banks calling to alert a customer about a possible fraudulent transaction can increase answer rates by stating the call reason. A food delivery or logistics company can do the same to make sure customers are available to receive their deliveries," Google noted.
Google Verified Calls can receive competition from Truecaller in India which has over 170 million monthly active users in India.
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