Call Masking 101

May 25, 2021 // Product

What is Call Masking?

Call Masking (aka Call Anonymization) uses proxy phone numbers, provided by a CPaaS like Voxology, to keep caller identity anonymous and prevent fraudulent use of sensitive information. In a world where data security and personal privacy are of utmost importance, Call Masking ensures anonymity and safety for both parties on the call. Call Masking enables you to provision a pool of numbers that show up on each end of the call, or SMS exchange, as a “masked” number. Additionally, the bridge connecting the two numbers can be designed in a way to enable a temporary connection, allowing for secure and safe communication only during the allotted time.

Call Masking is a powerful tool for any software application or company wanting to protect the identity and sensitive data of their users, employees, or business partners. It can also be used as a deterrent to platform leakage (or disintermediation) on marketplace and sharing-economy applications. In either case, when Call Masking is deployed successfully, it can simultaneously capture significant value and insight from a user base.

How Does Call Masking Work?

Your customers or users may not know what Call Masking is, but they most likely benefit from it on a regular basis. One of the most well-known examples of Call Masking occurs when using a rideshare app. When your ride approaches your location, you may receive a text or call from the driver informing you that they’re close. The number that shows up on your phone is not the driver’s personal number, but a masked number that has been provisioned through the CPaaS API. The anonymity, in this case, goes both ways. The passenger’s number shows up on the driver’s phone as a masked number as well. After the ride is complete, and the agreed-upon service has been rendered, the bridge connecting these two anonymized numbers may stay active for another hour — in case, for instance, the passenger left their wallet in the car. However, once the bridge closes, the numbers will no longer work to reach either party, limiting the interaction and protecting each person’s time and identity.

Rideshare Application Call Masking Example

  1. Driver & Rider’s Real Phone Numbers are Masked // A Driver needs to coordinate with his Rider on the pickup location, so he enters the phone number displayed on the rideshare application. This number is the Rider’s Masked Number, which is has been programmed to temporarily forward to the Rider’s Real Number.

Call Masking Example 1

  1. Driver Calls Rider’s Masked Number // The Driver dials the Rider’s Masked Number, which is routed to Voxology. Voxology instantly forwards the call to the Rider’s Real Number.

Call Masking Example 2

  1. Rider Receives Call from Driver’s Masked Number // The Rider receives the phone call from the Driver, but it appears to be coming from the Driver’s Masked Number. The Driver leaves a voicemail because the Rider fails to pick up her phone.

Call Masking Example 3

  1. Rider Listens to Voicemail // The Rider listens to her voicemail and immediately decides to call the Driver back. She goes to her ‘missed calls’ to find the Driver’s Masked number.

Call Masking Example 4

  1. Rider Calls Driver’s Masked Number // The Rider dials the ‘missed call’ number, which is routed to Voxology. Voxology instantly forwards the call to the Driver’s Real Number.

Call Masking Example 5

  1. Driver Receives Call from Rider’s Masked Number // The Driver receives a phone call from the Rider, which is coming from the same phone number he just called. Driver picks up to coordinate the pickup location.

Call Masking Example 6

  1. Masked Numbers are Repurposed // After an hour, the bridge between these two Masked Numbers is torn down and the numbers will no longer automatically forward to the Driver and Rider’s Real Numbers.

Call Masking Example 7

Behind the scenes, these call and SMS requests are routed through the CPaaS API and forwarded to the caller’s and receiver’s real phone numbers as an anonymized number. The rideshare example can be extrapolated to a myriad of different use cases, all of which connect person-to-person or business-to-person, such as:

  • Marketplace Platform Applications // Communication between buyers and sellers

  • Healthcare Patient Communications // Doctor- or nurse-to-patient, HIPAA-protected communications

  • Shipping and Delivery Applications // Communications between delivery person and recipient

  • Sharing Economy Applications // Communications between buyer and service provider

  • Education Applications // Communications between teachers and students

  • Dating and Social/Neighborhood Applications // Anonymized personal data until real numbers are agreed to be shared

Benefits of Call Masking

Adding Call Masking to your application or company’s capabilities can result in a wide-range of benefits. Some examples include:

Security & Privacy

  • Personal numbers for both parties involved are kept anonymous, greatly decreasing the risk of fraud and increasing application adoption rates.

Communication Visibility and Logging

  • Better monitor employee communication with customers when using their own phones — ensuring all employee-to-customer interactions happen on, not off, your platform.
  • Gain actionable insight into employee-to-customer conversations that can improve the quality of future interactions.

Enhanced User Experience

  • Simplified, anonymous call and SMS capabilities deliver peace-of-mind to the end user and drive up adoption rates.

Protect Your Business Phone Numbers

  • Shield internal business numbers from the public, ensuring employee safety and encouraging proactive customer engagement.

Why Build With Voxology?

Market leaders across a vast spectrum of industries choose Voxology as their telecommunications backbone because we make telecom easy. Not only do we provide your developers with the building blocks and easy-to-use API for important features like Call Masking, Voxology also provides the phone numbers, minutes, and call control functionality you need to modernize and maximize your entire communications infrastructure.

We also supply the customized support, documentation, and starter guides your team needs to build the features your customers are looking for, including:

  • Local Phone Number Coverage // Search and provision phone numbers from our massive inventory of local numbers based on prefix (NPA-NXX), city/region, LATA, Rate Center, or postal code.

  • Call Recording // Provide call recordings for compliance and quality assurance.

  • Media Stream // Analyze the audio of phone calls and provide real-time insights to your customers, using your own AI algorithms.

  • SMS/MMS // Enable message masking on your toll-free and local phone numbers.

  • Logging // Provide call and message logs to your customers to see when, how often, and how long communication interactions took place through the application.

  • Call Control // Provide seemingly endless optionality on your call masking call flows via the Voice API.

You no longer need to piecemeal your telecom infrastructure. Voxology has the solutions for all of your unique business needs.

Want to learn more about how Voxology simplifies your telecom operations?

Speak with a Voxologist