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Introducing: Nigeria Phone Number Verification, powered by Smile Identity


You can now verify over 140 million phone number records in Nigeria and meet Tier-1 KYC requirements.


As the world adjusts to living with COVID-19 and doing business online becomes the default, mobile phones have evolved into essential business tools. To survive and thrive, businesses must meet the needs of their consumers and cater to them on their device of choice, whether it is a smartphone or feature phone.

It is estimated that there are 170 million mobile phone users in Nigeria, but only between 10 to 20% use smartphones.

This is why we are excited today, to announce the launch of our Nigerian Phone Number Verification service.

Our new Phone Number Verification service is connected to the NIMC National Identity Database, and to all the major telcos in Nigeria, including MTN, Globacom, 9mobile and Airtel. The service also works for both feature phone and smartphone users.

In simple terms, what this means is that you can now verify over 140 million phone number records in Nigeria.


How it works:

The Phone Number Verification service is only available as part of our Identity Verification product; so your customers will need to provide other information such as their names and dates of birth along with their phone number.

We will verify this information against whatever information is tied to the provided phone number in the mobile network operator’s database; and then return to you the match result. Please note that this service does not return any PII.


Why this matters:

The service opens up new growth channels to you, such as the ability to onboard customers on feature phones; open CBN Tier-1 compliant accounts; and even the ability to advance loans via USSD or SMS.

Nearly 1 in 2 Nigerian adults do not use any formal (regulated) financial services, and more than 1 in 3 are completely financially excluded. This service also unlocks access to customers who are unbanked, underbanked, or have no Bank Verification Number (BVN).


Example use cases:

  • Governments and financial institutions could use the service to provide agricultural micro loans via USSD to unbanked farmers in rural areas and villages.
  • A bank can help a mechanic open a bank account with a feature phone and won’t need to worry about being identified once he walks into a bank branch for support.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


How to test the service:

You can test the service using our Postman collection.  Run an Identity Verification job using the phone number test data in sandbox, or use a real phone number in production. Learn more about our Postman collection.


How does name matching logic work?

You can learn more about our text matching logic in our documentation.


Do you return data on both registered and unregistered SIMs?

Data is only returned on registered SIMs.


Can you tell if the number has been ported?

No. We are currently unable to tell if a number has been ported.


Have more questions?

If you’re an existing customer, log a support request here If you’re a potential customer and simply looking to learn more about our services, contact us here.