Move over, SMS; WhatsApp verification is here

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We all want passwords to die and go away. But it looks like it SMS will eventually go that way too. Sometimes, disruption happens slowly. The arrival of WhatsApp verification is one more step in that slow journey to their deaths.

Facebook, owners of WhatsApp, have announced a new SDK that allows mobile developers to verify users over WhatsApp instead of SMS [1]. This means that when signing up for an app or service, the verification code can now be sent to you by WhatsApp. No SMS needed.

Account Kit for iOS and Android gives users a choice to sign in with their phone number or email address without the need for a password. This addition to Account Kit offers one more option for user verification.

How WhatsApp verification works

It works similar to the way that SMS verification does: when signing up for a service that requires the user to be verified, you can select WhatsApp as your means of verification, instead of email, SMS, or voice call.

If you do, the verification code gets sent to your WhatsApp number. Same process. The channel is all that has changed.

WhatsApp verification
Developers can now add WhatsApp verification as an option

Many times, SMS is no longer instant and sometimes does not deliver. This has been the experience of many users over the years. I recall having to try again and again in order to make siure I receive SMS verification codes from a social media platform and also from a banking service, to no avail.

With WhatsApp verification, the trouble with SMS can become a thing of the past. Hopefully, many developers will jump on it and add this option to their products.

As EyeBeeKay has said in a private conversation, perhaps one day, our banks can use WhatsApp for transaction notifications as well and stop charging us for those SMS alerts that arrive 24 hours after transactions.

Thanks for the tip, EyeBeeKay.

Resources

1. Facebook adds WhatsApp as a user verification channel to Account Kit

3 comments

  1. It will be very difficult to pry our banks from sms notification. This is because they make tonnes of money from it. Including charging for notifications that were neither sent nor received

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