Top banks in TRAI list of defaulters of pesky SMS normsNew Delhi: State Bank of India, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Life Insurance Corporation, Samsung and Delhivery are on a Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) list of more than 40 business entities that have failed to comply with its rules to control pesky SMSes.

Trai also named SMS aggregators Karix, Kaleyra, Gupshup, Route Mobile, ValueFirst and 35 others on a separate list for flouting the rules.

The regulator said these entities had failed to comply with the rules despite getting ample time to register and test their SMS content.

“It has been informed that principal entities including major banks like State Bank of India, HDFC Bank, Punjab National Bank, Axis Bank, etc., are not transmitting mandatory parameter like content template ID, PE IDs (SMS sender ID), etc., even in those cases where content templates have been registered while sending such messages to the TSP (telecom service provider) for delivery,” the regulator said in a press release on Friday.

“All these lapses are such which can only be attributed to lack of due care and diligence by principal entities, telemarketers and aggregators,” it said.

The authority has ordered telecom companies to resume filtering of messages and block non-compliant traffic from April 1, as “consumers cannot be deprived of the benefits of regulatory provision any further”, it said.

It has requested other regulatory bodies such as the Reserve Bank of India, Securities and Exchange Board of India and Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority, as well as central and state government departments to impress upon entities under their jurisdiction to ensure full compliance.

The Telecom Communications Customer Preference Regulations, 2018, mandate all senders of commercial bulk SMSes to register their unique SMS headers ID, content and user consent on a blockchain-based platform developed by telcos. Any SMS traffic which fails to pass the rigid filters will not be delivered. The measure is aimed at blocking fraudulent messages.

The system has created trouble for some business entities which are facing challenges to register and bypass genuine promotional, transactional and service SMSes via the filters, said industry experts.The filters were first activated on March 8. It caused a massive disruption in a host of services and transactions, such as net banking, online railway ticket bookings, ecommerce sales and Aadhaar authentication, as SMSes and OTPs failed to arrive.

ET had reported that close to 40% of daily SMS traffic, which is close to 1 billion, was dropped on that day. Among banking and financial services, the failure rate was more than 25%.

Some telemarketers said they were bracing up for another round of SMS failures on April 1 as it would be nearly impossible for 1 billion SMSes to pass the filters as over 1 lakh new templates flow into the system every day.

The regulator is also facing four lawsuits in the Delhi High Court challenging the legitimacy of the rules on various counts.




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