Phone SMS verification is useful for 2 purposes:
- It reduces fake signups by verifying a user phone number, instead of just email, which can be easily replicated, during signup
- It ensures that the user who signs up can be communicated with in a timely manner by voice or SMS
These two features are critical for building businesses that are founded on a trustworthy user base, and timely communication, in particular e-commerce, online reservation, fintech (micro-financing, cryptocurrency), and sharing economy.
We send a one-time password (OTP) to a phone so that only the user with access to the phone can recall the OTP and input it on the website to prove that she owns the phone.
SMS has to be transmitted through phone infrastructure, thus they incur charges, but some companies, Ringcaptcha, and Firebase, offers it for free with some minor restrictions. If you don't mind paying right off the bat, you can also check out Twilio, MessageBird, Cequens, Infobip, and Nexmo.
Among the free options, Firebase only works if you its SDK that is tightly integrated with the Firebase programming framework, while Ringcaptcha offers an API so it works with any programming language and framework that you are using.
Ringcaptcha is also unique because it is an SMS marketplace so they can send SMS through all other providers like Twilio, MessageBird, etc., making it more highly available and reliable, as it has a lot of routes to fallback on when sending SMS.
Ringcaptcha, it will be.
To get SMS verification on your website:
- Signup for Ringcaptcha
- Create Ringcaptcha app
- Get Ringcaptcha app and API keys
- Test Ringcaptcha app and API keys
- Copy-and-paste code onto your website
Head over to https://my.ringcaptcha.com/register to create a user account. No credit card is required.
Once logged in, click on the 'My Apps' on the left menu, and the click on 'Create New' button on the top right in the 'My Apps' page.
On the app configuration window:
- Under 'App Type' select 'Web'
- Still under 'Domain', enter 'fiddle.jshell.net', which is the live coding site where you will test your API and App key. Delete this after testing.
- Hit 'Create App' at the bottom right of the window.
You will see your newly created app.
Get the API key on the top of the list of apps. The API key is the same for all apps.
Get the App Key, which is on the right of each app. You can create a different Ringcaptcha app to represent each website that needs SMS verification.
Head over the live code site where you can tweak, and test phone SMS verification without any coding: (https://jsfiddle.net/ringcaptcha/e7uf8vdw/2/)
This consists of 4 sections:
Top left: HTML
Top right: CSS
Bottom right: Outcome
On the 'Outcome', you should see the Ringcaptcha widget
Before you do anything, test your phone number on the widget to verify that it works.
Try changing look-and-feel by modifying the CSS section. Change background-color of the button to 'blue' and hit 'Run'
Similarly try changing the HTML data-locale to 'de' and hit 'Run' to see the widget language changed to German.
If this doesn't work for you, please leave a comment, or you can also head over to Ringcaptcha and ask them in the live chat at the bottom right.