TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) has tweaked the regulations for sending bulk SMS to end customers, as a step towards fostering transparency and preventing fraudulent activities significantly. Also added two new bulk sms service routes with existing routes.
The notable point in the revised regulations is the inclusion of DLT (Distributed Ledger Technology) – a blockchain technology, the platform where every entity in the business ecosystem can register with the telecom operators. Also, all information on the system is stored and shared using blockchain technology, making easy traceability of any information at any time.
In a nutshell, the updated TRAI regulations are all about establishing transparency in the entire system, along with helping customers stay away from unsolicited, spam messages.
New SMS Routes in Bulk SMS Sharing
As part of the revised TRAI guidelines for bulk SMS sharing, a new route has been introduced along with the existing two SMS routes. The latest addition to the list is the Service SMS that is split into Implicit and Explicit categories.
Let us take a detailed look into the existing and the new SMS routes and their contribution to preventing customers from exposing them to unsolicited, spam messages.
Transactional Bulk SMS
The updated TRAI regulations emphasis that only banks, be it national, government, private, scheduled, or MNC banks, can use the transactional SMS route.
Primarily, it is assigned for banks to send OTPs (One Time Passwords) to their customers who initiated a bank transaction. Here, the transactional route generates the header/ sender ID with six alphabetic characters, upon request of the banks.
Examples of Bulk Transactional SMS,
Ex. 1: 260917 is the OTP for your TXN on Axis Bank. For security reasons, do not share this OTP with anyone else.
Ex. 2: Dear customer, your requested OTP for your ICICI Credit Card is: 995601. Please do not share this with anyone.
Promotional Bulk SMS
Promotional Bulk SMS encompass messages on offers and discounts, and marketing messages to promote a product or service. It can be sent to non-DND numbers.
Apart from non-DND numbers, it can be even sent to DND numbers who opted for a time window, where they set a time frame in a specific day to receive promotional messages. For instance, a customer chooses a time window of 3 PM to 8 PM to get promotional SMS, he/ she will receive promotional messages only during that time frame.
Unlike transactional SMS, the promotional SMS route generates the header/ sender ID in 6 numeric digits. Alphabetic characters cannot be used here.
Examples of Bulk Promotional SMS
Ex.1: Dear customer, get up to 80% off + FLAT Rs. 250 off + Free shipping. Shop @ End of season sale.
Ex.2: Specially for you! Get up to Rs. 500 off + Rs. 200 cashbacks. Limited time offers. HURRY UP!
Service Bulk SMS
Via the service SMS route, businesses can send SMS to their customers talking about a product or service. Here, the header/ sender ID is created with 6 alphabetic characters through the service route. The service route is divided into two categories – Implicit and Explicit.
Service Implicit Route
Informative messages other than the ones with OTP will come under the Service Implicit route. That is, crucial messages on order status, confirmation, alerts, reminders, etc., are sent via the implicit route. More details with examples give on Service Implicit route page.
Instances of Service Implicit SMS
- Product placement confirmation, order status, delivery updates.
- Messages from hospitals reminding of upcoming health checkups.
- Reminder messages from car repair shops, maintenance, etc.
- Payment status messages for various bank transactions.
Examples of Bulk Service Implicit SMS
Ex. 1: Your a/c ending with xx98 is debited Rs. 1200.00 on 01/12/2020 9:06:09 PM.
Ex. 2: Dear customer, your order has been successfully delivered by our delivery executive. Thank you for shopping with us!
Service Explicit Route
Promotional messages sent by businesses to their customers upon receiving their consent fall under the Service Explicit category. If the customer chooses to withdraw their consent, then the messages will come under Promotional SMS from that point in time. More details with examples give on Service Explicit route page.
Examples of Bulk Service Explicit SMS
Ex. 1: Dear customer, thank you for availing of our gold membership. We have a special offer on all our services. Get 10% off on availing of our services on or before 31/12/2020.
Ex. 2: This is to inform you that your subscription package has expired. Please renew it to continue availing our services.