OTP does not come | Banking, credit card payment and other services affected as carriers implement new rules for commercial text messages

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New Delhi: On Monday, when telecom operators put in place a new set of regulations for commercial SMS, a host of services and transactions, including net banking, credit card payments, train ticket reservations, e-commerce services, Aadhaar authentication, and even the Co-WIN records needed for Covid vaccinations were disrupted as SMS and OTP failed to reach the desired phone number.

The Economic times citing people familiar with the matter mentioned that out of the one billion average daily deliveries of commercial SMS, about 40% of traffic was disrupted until Monday evening. Among the major private and public sector banks, the default rate was over 25%. Officials at payment companies and banks, among others, have blamed telecoms operators for the flawed implementation of the new pesky message verification system.

However, carriers blamed businesses and government agencies for their lax adoption, claiming that they failed to register senders’ IDs and content on carrier blockchain platforms, which to their round triggered the high failure rate.

According to the business daily, the Association of Indian Banks earlier today contacted the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) and the Reserve Bank of India, requesting an immediate postponement of regulation. But an official with the telecommunications regulator said constant reminders have been sent to banks about the impending deadline of the past 15 days. “We have not received any official complaints about any disruption,” the official said.

The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), the body that represents telecommunications service providers such as Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea, said due process has been followed to address the issue of non-commercial communications. requested.

“TSPs have sent various communications to the main entities (on whose behalf the messages are sent) to register their content model with the telecom operators before March 7,” the business daily said quoting SP Kochhar, CEO of COAI.

What the new rules say

In accordance with Trai’s regulations on unsolicited commercial communications, which was released in 2018 but implemented on Monday, carriers are required to verify every SMS content with recorded text before delivering it. The blockchain-based solution deployed by telecom operators verifies the sender identifier, known as the header, and the content of each commercial SMS from a registered source. Text messages from unregistered senders’ identifiers are simply blocked.

Day one of these new rules saw transaction services at all levels disrupted, including the Unified Payment Interface (UPI), Aadhaar Activated Payments (AePS), Net Bank Payments, and Credit Card Payments. credit due to the lack of registration of the identifier and content of the sender, the HEY The report mentioned citing at least five sources from the banking and payments industry.

Major non-financial services, including transaction limit alerts and new customer registration, have also failed, they added.

“We haven’t been able to onboard any new customers who require two-factor verification,” the post said, citing an industry manager at a mid-sized payments company. “These experiments should be done on a weekend and not on the first day of the week, when the traffic is the most important on most platforms,” ​​the person added on condition of anonymity.


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