Number Masking – A Burning Need of the Startup Revolution

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Hyperlocals, marketplaces, aggregators, last and first mile logistics, mobile app-based startups; and the list of innovative business models goes on. India is home to over 3000 startups, 3rd largest base in the world, with +800 startups being launched annually. India is in the cusp of moving into the ultra uber modern business environment, making the lives of customers easier and convenient.The rise of Entrepreneurial ecosystem coupled with venture capitalists, angel investors, and powered by accelerators and incubators have together created this rising inflection in the country with a multi-billion dollar market value.

But not everything is in their favor. A few of these tech-enabled startups has seen to encounter privacy concerns, harassment accusations, etc., from customers. A recent case of woman harassments found that a leading food delivery app company has been on the receiving end because a delivery boy constantly harassed a female customer through unsolicited phone calls. This is only one facet among the multitude of customer grievances. Startups have a lot riding on brand reputation and customer loyalty. One small instance could snowball into a corporate nightmare accompanied by social rants, legal settlements, customer boycotts, etc.

With the uprise of these issues, companies have made it their agenda to keep their customers’ private and sensitive information ‘private’ as part of other safety measures. They have introduced Number Masking feature that enable phone numbers of customers to remain undisclosed. Number Masking creates a communication channel between the customer and the service provider disguising the contact information of both the parties, ironing out the chances of either side to contact each other afterwards. Any calls that are made during the service provision period will be routed through the company’s channel at all times.     

India’s cab-aggregation market has stepped up in introducing this feature in their system, and many have followed suit. Ola Cabs, a cab aggregator powered by Ameyo platform has recently implemented the Number Masking feature in their calling system to keep customer numbers undisclosed from driver partners. Companies should invest in such features and initiatives that ensure the safety of their customers. Ameyo Emerge, a cloud-based contact center software offers the Number Masking feature to Indian startups and emerging businesses to mark their social safety movement.