ChallengeBlaBlaCar required a method of user verification to weed out fraudulent registrants and effectively build a peer-to-peer trust community at scale. In addition, BlaBlaCar aimed to increase their conversion rates for mobile verifications to ensure consistent user acquisition.
SolutionVonage SMS API with 2-factor authentication
ResultsWith the Vonage SMS API, BlaBlaCar is now able to send SMS messages quickly and reliably, thereby achieving significantly higher verification success rates.
Providing Safety and Security to Drivers and Passengers Alike
As more and more stories of scams, stolen identities, and fraudulent transactions proliferate today’s headlines, common sense dictates that caution must be taken when dealing with online “strangers.” Understandably, people are apprehensive about trusting someone they’ve never met. That’s why, when co-founders Frédéric Mazzella, Nicolas Brusson and Francis Nappez, introduced their ridesharing app, BlaBlaCar, in 2006, they knew that providing safety and security to both drivers and passengers would be critical to their success.
From its humble beginnings in France, BlaBlaCar has grown to be the world’s leading long-distance carpooling platform. The app offers a marketplace to connect drivers who are traveling long distances and have empty seats to passengers looking for a ride. And in 2018, BlaBlaCar introduced its new short-distance, commuter carpooling service, BlaBlaLines.
Currently, BlaBlaCar’s membership is over 70 million users. “That’s 10 million more than Uber’s global user base and 3 million more passengers than British Airways handles each year,” according to a 2018 article in CondéNast/Traveler. Servicing over 18 million travelers every quarter in 22 countries, BlaBlaCar has become a smashing success, offering a practical, social, and cost-effective alternative to trains, planes, and single passenger road trips.
Simply A Matter of Trust
Thanks to technology and new digital trust tools, online platforms such as BlaBlaCar enable individuals to create “profiles” that include verified information and peer ratings from previous experiences. The information in a person’s profile allows travelers who have never met before to make informed decisions about whether or not to begin their BlaBlaCar journey together.
“User verification is critically important to building organic trust with our users,” said Nicolas Schwartz, former Technology Lead, BlaBlaCar. “We required an SMS partner to help us scale this effort in our various global markets, and Vonage did just that. Between the ease of integration, low prices, fast response rate for customer support issues, and easily navigable docs, we’ve been very impressed with Vonage.”
Erwann Robin, currently a technical product manager at BlaBlaCar, understands how important it is to use the best technology for an app that relies on trusted information and dependable communications. “Technology is everything. Our users’ travel plans rely on us. If we don’t deliver great service, it can ruin their plans and they will lose faith in the company.”
Erwann explains that the verification processes in place are extremely important to build trust. The first thing BlaBlaCar verifies is the customer’s phone number, by sending a text message. “If the text message takes too long to be transmitted or is not delivered, we’ve lost a user. Using the Vonage two-way SMS with two-factor authentication greatly decreases our concerns about this.”