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SMS Messaging in Australia is changing, for the better

Headshot of Doreen Nguyen

Doreen Nguyen

Product Manager

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10 July 2023
3 min read

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) are prioritising combating SMS scams in 2023-24. ACMA are adding pressure to telcos and the communication industry, enforcing existing rules through initiating investigations and penalising companies who do not oblige. The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) being the latest victim, reckoning a $3.55 million penalty. 

Supporting these actions is the announcement earlier this year from the Australian Federal government investing $10 million to launch Australia’s SMS Sender ID Registry. Sender IDs are “from” identifiers and displayed when sending a SMS. In Australia, it is popular for businesses to use their company names so they appear when sending a SMS to their customers.

So then, why is SMS messaging still on the trajectory to grow in usage and in business budget investment when it’s changing? SMS remains our most popular channel used in Whispir. Open rates on text messages remain extremely high, 98%. Combined with intentional workflow automation; businesses are guarantee reach and engagement. As a result, SMS messaging isn’t going away.

We explain how to overcome these changes, what the rules are and how to take advantage of these stricter regulations to build trust now and into the future with your customers of today.

What’s changing and how does it impact you?

Marketing messages rules remain unchanged:

  • Senders must have consent

  • Senders must include their contact details in the messages 

  • Provide a opt out option to ‘stop’ receiving these messages 

In the next 6 months; telcos and communication companies will be taking the actions to prevent scams through monitoring and managing Sender ID misuse or impersonation. In some cases, SMSs will be blocked or registration will be required with an expectation to only get stricter overtime, likely following trends overseas.

Take Advantage of using Sender IDs for SMS Messaging:

Personalising the display of ‘who’ a message has been sent from is a valuable strategy to boost engagement, build trust through credibility and establish a personal relationship with your customers.

Businesses that send messages, utilising a Sender ID already see their messages opened sooner. We see 20% more messages sent from Whispir utilising Sender IDs.

Majority of Whispir customers customise their Sender IDs, taking the extra steps to control Sender ID per country to dynamically adapt to international regulations in one send.

How do I adapt?

There are best practices to follow when picking your Sender ID. You have the potential to unlock a positive connection to your brand name by keeping Sender ID consistent and being deliberate with your messages.

This impact will only be greater as Australians and the rest of the world rebuild their trust in SMS messages as they watch their governments and regulatory bodies taking scam prevention head on and holding the industry and telcos responsible worldwide.

We will see a decrease in scam activity. In Singapore, we saw a 64% decrease of scam SMS reported after 9 months launching their regime. As a legitimate organisation, now is the time to take advantage of having a trusted Sender ID set up.

We are a communications platform that’s committed to building communication with people like people, starting with curating your brands identity through Sender ID that scales globally.

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