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How do I know whether TTS or SMS will be used for a verification?


Question

Will a Text-to-Speech (TTS) call or SMS be used for verification?

Applies To

  • Verify API
  • Verification
  • TTS
  • SMS

Answer

Verify flows are optimized for different markets, but we tend to attempt sending an SMS before failing over to a voice call.

For fixed (landline) numbers, we will always use a Text-to-Speech (TTS) call.

For mobile numbers, we might start with SMS, then attempt a TTS call if the SMS does not result in a successful PIN submission.

We are not able to customize the Verify flow to use only SMS without any voice calls. Based on our experience with conversions for many users, we consistently recommend verification via SMS with failover through TTS, because in the end this strongly increases the likelihood of a successful verification. Voice communication networks will always be more reliable than messaging, and so if the initial SMS is not delivered, a subsequent attempt to deliver the code via a TTS call is more likely to be successful than attempting a second SMS.

With respect to user experience, explicitly informing users that they should expect an automated call has worked well for our users, and avoids the code recipient being surprised by the phone call.

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