txtNation, the award-winning leader in global mobile messaging and billing, this week announced the release of an extension to their worldwide HLR offering. It is now possible in the United Kingdom, on all major networks apart from Vodafone, to see if a number is residing on a contracted monthly plan or, where 38% of the UK market own, pre-paid SIM cards. The lookup is performed just by providing a mobile phone number, apart from on network Three where an IMSI is also required.

txtNation as of late has seen increased demand for the service from companies offering calling cards, reverse calling, MVNO’s, mobile topup providers, payday loan and traditional loan companies, marketing and data list providers, ridesharing, ticketing, virtual credit cards, digital wallet top-ups, clients requiring fraud screening, amongst others.

Post-paid users on a contract are typically more affluent, and marketers are willing to pay more for rich data accompanying mobile numbers to help deliver better ROI on campaigns, or service offerings can be tailored, offering better terms for post-paid users, as they are more likely to convert. Conversely, pre-paid users by their very nature have pre-paid for the airtime, so users of premium mobile services are unable to not pay their bill at the end of the month, reducing the possibility for bad debt.

When risk management is a big priority, oftentimes fraud rules can be configured too strictly. Pay as you go phones have a reputation for being untraceable, albeit that is not always the case. However, if someone is using mobile phone numbers for risk, fraud management and security screening, detecting if a phone is not on a pre-paid SIM could be a trigger to ask for an alternative form of verification.

For services looking to prevent users setting up multiple accounts, to take advantage of free offers for example, SIM hopping can be prevented by disallowing pay as you go SIMs, or adding extra validation if a pre-paid mobile phone number is given.

Payday loan marketers requiring to detect if a user is pre or post paid would likely find that pre-paid users are a better demographic for targeting.

Having analysed pre-paid vs. post-paid Average Return Per User (ARPU), clients may find that contracted mobile phone users are giving an ARPU of £30 per month whereas pre-paid is £15. Pre-paid users may be higher-risk if they signed up less than one month ago. Pre-paid users can be moved to medium risk if they signed up more than one month ago and have no history of bad payment. This data can accompany payment velocity behaviour so users can fluidly move between risk groups.

Jon Rowsell, txtNation managing director announcing the new service, said, “Once again, txtNation is at the forefront of the game. It’s great to see our product portfolio evolving in response to client demand. It’s been many months of hard work and our business analyst team has done a good job, piecing together the SS7 return values to reliably detect if a number is on a monthly plan or pay-as-you-go.”


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