MEF recently launched it’s new Trust in Enterprise Messaging (TEM) service backed by an industry Code of Conduct for A2P (Applications to Person) SMS in collaboration with 30+ participants of MEF’s Future of Messaging Programme, that includes MNOs, messaging companies and signalling providers.
The new service is self-regulatory – its goal, to accelerate market clean-up and educate enterprise messaging solution buyers about the threats of fraudulent practices and poor procurement processes.
We invited some of the founding signatories to share their views onto why they’ve signed up to the new Code of Conduct, and why such an initiative is necessary and useful for the A2P SMS Industry.
Rob Malcolm, VP Marketing and Online Sales at CLX Communications
CLX turns ten years old this year, and since our founding in 2008 we have been passionate about stamping out fraud in the SMS industry. In fact, in 2011, our business stopped growing for many months which we directly attributed to one of the most massive Global Title faking frauds ever seen in history. Some SMS companies were not so lucky and went out of business during this time.
The financial and phycological impact of SMS fraud on consumers and businesses cannot be understated, and it is for this reason that CLX has been working closely with MEF over the past two years to create the Code of Conduct launched recently.
The Code is a baseline for ensuring everyone in the eco-system, and SMS value chain behaves acceptably and takes steps to protect consumers, protect their networks, and work together to monitor and prevent future fraud.
I applaud MEF for their progress in getting so many key stakeholders together to agree on the Code in an industry that thrives on secrecy and where a competitive edge is sometimes entirely based on knowledge of a particular market.
The Code of Conduct, the first of its kind to directly address the 12 most common types of fraud in the SMS eco-system will have a significant impact to both consumers and businesses provided that Enterprises demand that their suppliers sign the Code. Herein lies the challenge; many Enterprises are price sensitive for a good reason, and they will need to put their principles and their commitment to stamping out fraud ahead of their natural desire to achieve the lowest price in order to make a difference.
I see the Code of Conduct as the first step on an exciting journey, which CLX are committed to seeing through to the end.
Oisin Lunny, Chief Evangelist, OpenMarket
According to Scott Galloway, one of the 50 best business school professors in the world, our mobile phones are one of the last remaining communication channels that are still trusted by consumers. In his recent talk “Alexa, Do You Dream?” he stated that “the place where trust still survives is your (mobile) message inbox. We open every text message.” This is due in no small part to the tireless work of the key players in our mobile ecosystem: regulators, aggregators, forward-looking enterprise clients, and of course industry bodies.
It is vital to continue to educate the market on the unique effectiveness and trusted global reach of A2P SMS, but also to leverage the Code of Conduct in order to ensure best practice is established and maintained. With RCS on the horizon as the next evolution of mobile messaging, the Code of Conduct arrives at a pivotal time.
As the superior user experience of RCS gains traction and is able to reach more consumers, the Code of Conduct will mean that global enterprises, and the companies that support them, are suitably aligned to meet this exciting new market opportunity. In a world where “trust is the new oil” I believe the Code of Conduct is a real milestone for our industry.
Ira Cohen, VP, Business Development and Marketing, MMDSmart
As a pioneer of smart messaging, we believe that market education is a key to the future growth of the enterprise messaging industry. So, we are proud to have taken part in the conception and drafting of the Trust in Messaging code, and to be one of the first companies to proudly display the TEM logo.
Millions of enterprises are creatively using A2P messaging but are unaware of some of the impediments on the way and improper practices used. This initiative and the transparency that it provides, will help in ensuring market confidence in our industry and educating our customers on best practices that they can follow in creating their campaigns.
SMS remains perhaps the most trusted consumer communications channel. Smishing and other identity theft scams which hit at the heart of consumer fears, threaten the long term viability of our trusted channel. We need to ensure that bulk SMS does not suffer the same fate as bulk emails.
To continue to spur A2P growth, all of the members of our industry eco- system, and in particular the MNO component, need be more transparent on the delivery and business side. Enterprise customers are seeking solutions which enable accurate performance monitoring and contribute to their bottom line. TEM is a first step, as we move towards smart solutions and business models that optimize campaign results and enhance conversion.
Lee Suker, Market Development Director, Data Protection Officer, XConnect
XConnect is delighted to support the launch of Trust in Enterprise Messaging, A2P SMS Code of Conduct. XConnect signed up to this initiative because we believe in the need to put consumer trust at the heart of all digital services and central to this is the prevention of consumer fraud, the implementation of best practice, and the need to securely handle consumers’ personal data.
Achieving these outcomes relies on the end to end supply chain operating to a defined and well communicated set of high standards, without which the joint market value is eroded. No single member of the value chain can do this alone and the business case for high standards must be shared to bring benefits to the enterprise and the consumer. So we are delighted that this initiative exists and we look forward to working with other signatories to build a growing and significant enterprise messaging business.
As a Number Information Service provider to the A2P industry, XConnect promotes and enables the case for reducing the reliance on HLR Lookup as a means for acquiring routing data. Providing alternatives to HLR makes it easier for operators to spot signalling misuse that can lead to SMS Originator Spoofing. Marginal gains here are amplified when it comes to investigation of fraudulent messages, identifying suspicious traffic patterns, identifying potential traffic looping, and optimising routing
Information about telephone numbers is also personal data and it is important that high standards are maintained for ensuring that data is safeguarded, accurate and the rights of data subjects are upheld.
Equally important is the need to work closely with Code of Conduct signatories to activate network information that can be used to the benefit of enterprises and consumers to protect against identity theft fraud. We look forward to making these initiatives part of a future code.
Mathias Hoellerl, Managing Director DIMOCO Messaging
Over time, as messaging channels evolved, fraudsters are targeting various communication channels such as E-Mail and SMS. The most common type of frauds are SPAM, Spoofing and Smishing. SPAM are usually unsolicited commercial messages sent to a mobile subscriber, and Spoofing is the act where fraudsters are using a renowned brand name to trick consumers. The term Smishing determines fraudsters trying to gain access to credit cards and accounts. The overall aim of the global code is to protect consumers of fraudulent practices.
We are determined to tackle SMS fraud, and by being a member of Mobile Ecosystem Forum, that is establishing the A2P SMS Code of Conduct, we want to underline and engage trust in enterprise messaging.
Stakeholders such as networks should definitely engage the principles of the code by diminishing grey routes and enterprises should in future discontinue sending SPAMS to their desired target audience.
The Trust in Enterprise Messaging industry Code of Conduct for A2P is available to download now – participation in the Trust in Enterprise Messaging service is open to any stakeholder in the messaging ecosystem.