Trai urges RBI to direct banks to comply with norms on bulk messages

Topics TRAI  | RBI | telecom services

According to the rules all entries that send one-time password (OTP), transactional messages, service messages or commercial messages are required to fulfil regulatory requirements for sending bulk communication

The telecom regulator has urged Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to issue directions to banks to comply with Trai's norms on bulk messages, sources said on Tuesday.

It has also shared with the RBI a list of such banks that have not adhered to Trai's regulatory requirements, as also relevant data on SMS traffic failures, sources added.

Separately, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) in a statement said that all major banks and big telemarketers sending SMS have failed to fulfil regulatory requirements despite repeated reminders.

Sources privy to the development told PTI that the telecom regulator has approached the Reserve Bank of India to get a direction issued to all banks and financial institutions to comply with stipulated rules aimed at curbing pesky calls and bulk messages. Trai has also written to the Department of Financial Services on the matter.

The regulator informed the RBI that as per the provisions of the Telecom Commercial Communications Customer Preference Regulations, 2018, the telecom operators have activated the content scrubbing from March 17, 2021. However, for the time being, even the traffic which has failed in the content scrubbing is allowed to be delivered, to avoid the inconvenience to the consumers.

Trai has further said that based on the report submitted by the telecom operators, it has been observed that certain banks have still not complied with regulatory requirements. Noting that telcos are intimating the failure reasons to concerned 'Principal Entities', Trai has urged the RBI to direct such banks to fulfil the regulatory requirements immediately, failing which their communication to customers may be disrupted, sources said.

Additionally, the regulator has also reached out to state government departments, chief secretaries, and all major government entities that send out bulk messages on the bulk message issue, sources added.

Meanwhile, Trai said in a statement that it "once again requests all the Entities who are using the telecom resources to send bulk messages to the consumers, to fulfil the regulatory requirements immediately so that there would not be any disruption in the communication to the customers."

Trai has issued the Telecom Commercial Communications Customer Preference Regulations, 2018 (TCCCPR, 2018) on July 19, 2018, to curb the menace of Unsolicited Commercial Communications (UCC), which put in place a framework for controlling UCC.

The regulations entirely came into force with effect from February 29,2019.

According to the rules all entries that send one-time password (OTP), transactional messages, service messages or commercial messages are required to fulfil regulatory requirements for sending bulk communication.

"The regulatory provisions not only help in preventing spam but also help in preventing fraudulent messages purporting to originate from banks, financial institutions, or other trusted sources," Trai said.

Trai said that when telecom operators started filtering out non-compliance messages from the system there was a huge drop in sms sent to people from applications.

"It was observed that some of the principal entities have not fulfilled the requirements as envisaged TCCCPR, 2018 even after two years despite being fully aware of the regulations and the consequences," Trai said.

The regulator temporarily suspended the scrubbing of SMS for seven days on March 9 to enable principle entities to register the SMS templates to avoid inconvenience faced by the customers.

"Unfortunately, despite repeated communication, all major banks and big telemarketers sending SMS have failed to fulfill regulatory requirements. All are being notified individually also. Trai has called for further reports from telecom service providers," Trai statement said.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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