As this year comes to an end, it’s a time to reflect on how much Whitepages Pro has accomplished in 2018 and things to look forward to in 2019. We grew tremendously as a company and there were a lot of firsts from a product perspective.
In 2018, we saw three things that came to a head in the market for the first time and focused our product roadmap around how we could work to meet those:
- Very low latency: From the beginning, we’ve focused on lowering our P99 as much as possible. P99 is a method of tracking latency, where 99% of queries fall under a given threshold and 1% of queries exceed that number. In 2015, we had a P99 of 1.1s. At the beginning of 2017 we had a suite of products with a P99 of 250ms, which was groundbreaking at the time. At the end of 2018, we’re proud to say we’ve built a product with a P99 of 80ms and will continue addressing a market need of low latency, especially in pre-authorization use cases.
- Cross-border solution needed for identity verification data: There is a huge cross-border need in the payments, digital eCommerce, and marketplace industries. Cross-border is defined when 5% or more of your transactions happen in four or more geographies. Today across both our API and Pro Insight products, we have over 4,000 users outside the US who are using us for cross-border fraud and risk needs.
- Shift from rules based systems to machine learning models: We’ve seen this happen more and more in 2018 in order to fight more sophisticated fraud networks. Machine learning models need consistent, normalized data including phone numbers, names, and addresses in terms of country codes, zip codes, and more. We’ve been working tirelessly to make the normalization of this data as simple as possible for our customers.
In 2019, we expect these trends to accelerate, and we’ll continue our roadmap around the following areas:
- Cross-Border Support: We’ll continue to double down on the cross-border need by opening a new European office in Amsterdam in Q1. We know by opening this office, we’ll be able to provide even more support to our customers globally.
- Continued efforts on data sourcing cross-border: A target which we’ve achieved for the last 3 years, we’ll stay on track to add new cross-border data sources for our customers every single quarter.
- See more payments use cases: Payments methods are proliferating quickly; today there are all sorts of alternative payments such as Apple Pay, Venmo, and Alipay. We will continue to support needs for identity verification in traditional and non-traditional payment methods. We’ll also support payments needs in marketplaces and other companies who aren’t in payments, but who want to continue taking on more of the customer experience.
- Machine learning, especially in Payments: Machine learning will continue to take place in everything from online lending, online loans, subprime, small business underwriting, and more. We have a product targeted at just returning machine learning attributes for models that we expect to have in our product portfolio in 2019.
We’re excited for what’s to come in 2019, and are looking forward to continuing to build things that help our customers fight fraud and use data for good.