Your email address is basically the online ID that allows you to create accounts on various apps and websites, and even though many of them allow you to create an account using Facebook, you still need an email address to create a Facebook account, so it’s not a replacement for email addresses so much as an easier way to use them. However, smartphones have replaced computers as the most-popular tool for connecting to the Web, and because of that, Truecaller thinks it’s about time that phone numbers replace email addresses as our online IDs.
Developers in the West may not know it, but there’s almost certainly a major flaw in your app that is preventing potential users in emerging markets from signing up. Beyond unreliable Internet connections and slow speeds, the conventional onboarding method for opening new accounts is often broken because it requires an email address. Yes, email is common in the West, but that’s not necessary so in parts of Asia or Africa where mobile is the primary Internet access channel. For example: if you only go online through your phone, and messaging apps are your means of communication, why would you need email? Facebook and Twitter-based sign-up does exist, but Truecaller — the smart calling app and directory — thinks it can do a better job by using its platform as an onboarding system. With that in mind, the company today announced an SDK that enables app publishers to let users sign up using their phone number as their ID, if they are already a registered Truecaller user. The idea is to remove friction and make the sign-up process as simple as possible.