SMS scrubbing: Faulty implementation wipes out OTPs, 40% traffic disrupted

Several services such as net banking, credit card payments, e-commerce services, Aadhaar authentication and even Co-WIN registrations were disrupted on Monday as SMSes and OTPs failed to arrive after telecom companies implemented a new set of regulations for commercial text messages, according to a report in Economic Times.

Out of one billion average daily commercial SMS deliveries, around 40 per cent of traffic was disrupted till Monday evening. The failure rate was over 25 per cent among the leading private and public sector banks.

Officials at payments companies and banks, among others, blamed telcos for faulty implementation of the new system to check spam messages.

However, operators blamed the companies and the governments for poor adoption, saying they had failed to register sender IDs and content on the blockchain platforms of telcos, which in turn triggered the high failure rate.

The Indian Banks' Association reached out to both the Trai and RBI, seeking an immediate postponement of the regulation. But an official at Trai said constant reminders were sent to banks regarding the impending deadline for the past 15 days. “We haven’t received any official complaint about any disruption,” the official said.

Cellular Operators Association of India said that "telcos are not at fault here as TSPs has sent various communications to the principle entities to register their Content Template with the TSPs before March 7, 2021".

“TSPs are following TRAI Regulations & have activated due process of Content scrubbing to address the issue of unsolicited commercial communication. TSPs has 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  S P Kochhar, DG, COAI.


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