Updated: March 9, 2021 2:30:31 pm
The functioning of banks and e-commerce firms were hit on Monday as telecom servie providers (TSPs) started implementing the second phase of SMS regulation. The move disrupted several crucial services, especially sending of one-time password (OTP) by banks and e-commerce firms for various services.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) guideline that the verification process of every SMS content will have to be done before it is delivered — known as scrubbing — was implemented on Monday after several delays. As result, unverified and unregistered SMS messages were blocked by telecom operators.
However, the implementation of the SMS regulation hit the process of sending OTP for various payment services. “Banks were flooded with complaints from customers who didn’t get OTPs for fund transfers. This affected services across the country. The implementation was not fine-tuned. It should have been implemented carefully,” said a banking source.
“I wanted to transfer some funds to my relative. But as the OTP never came, I couldn’t execute the transfer,” said the customer of a leading private bank.
According to Trai, unscrupulous telemarketers today override the stated preference of the subscriber by claiming consent that may have been surreptitiously obtained. “New regulations provide the subscriber with complete control over their consent and the ability to revoke the consent already granted, at their option. A major abuse of the current regulations would thus be stopped,” the regulator had said.
Trai said the concept of registered templates for both SMS and voice communication has been introduced to prevent deliberate mixing of promotional messages into the transactional stream. Telcos said telemarketers and businesses should comply with the standards set by Trai. A blockchain method is used to verify the content of every SMS and every unregistered SMS is blocked.
Responding to the issue, telcos said they had communicated with entities to register their content template before March 7.
“TSPs are following Trai regulations and have activated due process of content scrubbing to address the issue of unsolicited commercial communication. TSPs have sent various communications to the principle entities to register their content template with the TSPs before March 7, 2021. We request all the PEs to get their content template registered with TSPs at the earliest, and help TSPs to address the issue of unsolicited commercial communication,” said SP Kochhar, director geeral, Cellular Operators Association of India.
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