LIVE FROM HIYA STATE OF THE CALL SUMMIT, NYC: Alex Algard, founder and CEO of call performance management company Hiya, urged industry players to collaborate to combat spam calls, even if businesses compete with one another at some level.

In his opening keynote, Algard stated there is a lack of trust in voicemail due to consumers believing most of them are spam, restricting the potential of a communication medium which typically offers higher levels of engagement.

He cited data showing 87 per cent of consumers believe unidentified calls might be fraudulent.

“That’s a staggering number given that most calls are actually unidentified.”

Algard also noted 79 per cent of unidentified calls go directly to voicemail, which essentially makes the feature a spam box.

More often than not, users do not check their messages: he cited data from software company ZoomInfo which found “90 per cent of voicemails on are never checked”.

Hiya reported of 98 billion calls it observed in H1, 20 per cent of unidentified calls were tagged as spam and 5 per cent fraud, with the remaining 75 per cent uncategorised.

Worldwide, the average mobile users receives about 14 spam calls a month.

Algard argued branded calls offer greater engagement and answer rates because they show people who is getting in touch. He said this is a positive for operators and enterprises along with consumers.

The Hiya CEO also noted consumers are confused about spam calls and the various means used to make them.

“I think as an industry, we have a great opportunity here to clarify things, crystallize things for the rest of the market.”

“We’re not going to be able to solve this on our own. We really need a collaborative effort across the industry.”