Google’s Phone App Will Now Tell You Why a Business is Calling

The company hopes to instil more trust in consumers

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Google has added a new feature to its phone app which will let users know who is calling and why.

The new feature, called Verified Calls, will make it easier for businesses to get in touch with their customers. Instead of showing an unknown number, Android phones will show business names, branding, a verified badge, and the information about why exactly they’re calling.

The feature will be readily available on the Android One and Pixel phones through the Google Phone App, but it is also being made available across other phones too. A select few models running Android Pie or higher will be able to use the Verified Calls feature by downloading the Google Phone App from the Google Play Store and setting it as their default phone calling app. Phones able to use the app include models from Samsung and LG.

According to TechCrunch, spam calls are on the rise, with US consumers receiving 61.4 billion spam calls in 2019, a 28% increase from the year prior. Google says the new feature is set to help out businesses. By showing their verified details, customers are more likely to pick up, especially if they know they aren’t about to be on the receiving end of a pointless spam call from a fake car accident claims company or, worse, silence. During trials, Google found consumers were significantly more likely to answer a call from a verified caller and noticed an increase in trust when it rolled out its Verified SMS feature last year. 

Businesses are able to get started with the feature by working with a partner such as Neustar, JustCall, Telecall, Zenvia, Prestus, Aspect, Five9, Vonage, Bandwidth, IMImobile, Kaleyra, Quiubas Mobile, or Datora.

It will also let customers know if a call is important. They are much more likely to answer a vital phone call from the bank about an issue with a payment or fraudulent behavior if they know that’s what it’s going to be. Similarly, they’ll know they don’t need to drop everything for a call if it specifies that it’s only for marketing purposes.

Verified Calls was rolled out in the US, Mexico, Brazil, Spain, and India yesterday, with more countries soon to follow, and the Google Phone app will be available to download starting later this week.