You have no doubt heard via multiple media sources recently about the way A2P (application to person) SMS communications will change particularly around Sender IDs in Australia. We have put this brief Q&A summary together to cut through clutter and confusion.
What is a Sender ID?
A Sender ID is the ability for you to create an alphanumeric source when sending SMS from your SMS sending account or client management system.
What are the Sender ID Limitations?
11 Alpha Numeric characters and does not allow replies.
Why all the fuss around Sender ID’s?
Scammers have been able to manipulate SMS providers with loose Sender ID registration processes to “spoof” or impersonate legitimate businesses, financial institutions and government agencies. These messages would then sit in the same phone message thread of unsuspecting recipients making it very difficult to distinguish genuine from illicit messages. These scam messages will typically include a link or call to action inviting unsuspecting users to divulge personal information or credentials.
Is it now a legal requirement to register Sender ID’s with ACMA (Australian Communication and Media Authority)?
Not yet. ACMA has been working with SMS providers like us toward a broader solution. The federal government has just announced it will set aside $10 million in the May budget towards setting up a Sender ID registry. This will ensure that your business SenderID will be registered and unique to you (the registrant) only. This will eliminate spoofing and trust in your brand will be enhanced. We will update you once we have further information in relation to the new registry.
What are we doing to protect you in the meantime?
Any user creating a Sender ID within any of our sending applications will have their submission reviewed by our team prior to being approved. The SenderID application must be aligned or closely aligned to your business. No generic or personal names, possible conflict with an existing entity, verbs etc are allowed. You can be comfortable that you are enjoying the best possible protection now.
What do I need to do now?
You don’t need to do anything. We will continue to ensure best practice around Sender ID applications and reviews. Once ACMA informs us of the formal regulations and requirements we will be in touch well in advance of any required action, so you can relax.
What about Virtual Numbers?
Virtual Numbers have long been tightly managed and are not part of the impending changes. To further increase trust in your communication and brand with your recipients, we strongly recommend you grab your own Virtual Number (if you don’t already have one). Any sending will then originate from your registered Sender ID or unique Virtual Number.
If you have any further questions or are still a little confused, please don’t hesitate to reach out.