AWS Messaging & Targeting Blog
Registering Sender IDs for Sending SMS Messages
With Amazon Pinpoint, you can use Sender IDs to send text messages to recipients in various countries around the world. A Sender ID is a short, alphanumeric identifier (such as “AMAZON”) that appears on a recipient’s device when they receive a message from you. A Sender ID is one type of origination identity—that is, an identity that’s used to send text messages. Other types of origination identities include short codes and long codes. Sender IDs are great for branding purposes, because recipients can easily determine who the sender of the message is.
SMS senders who send messages to some countries (such as India or the Philippines) are required to register their SMS use cases and message templates before they can send messages to those countries using a Sender ID. On the Amazon Pinpoint team, we listen to our customers when they tell us which countries they need to send messages to. We regularly add support for registration processes to help our customers reach their end users. In this post, I’ll discuss the purpose of Sender ID registration and provide information about registering Sender IDs.
Why is Sender ID registration required?
The rise of fraudulent and malicious SMS activity around the world means that it’s more important than ever for recipients of SMS messages to trust the Sender ID that is contacting them. To reduce the volume of fraudulent SMS messages reaching their customers, mobile carriers have systems in place to identify and prevent abuse.
Registering Sender IDs helps mobile carriers trace abuse and other issues back to a specific SMS sender. By registering a Sender ID, your messages bypass filters that can throttle or block unregistered traffic. This not only improves deliverability rates, but also helps earn trust, because the sender’s name is consistent and identifiable. AWS has processes for registering your dedicated Sender ID with regulatory agencies and industry groups in several countries.
The future of Sender ID registration
In the months and years ahead, we expect more countries to add Sender ID registration requirements. AWS will continue to work with local network operators to expand the services that we offer to our customers. We carefully monitor the global SMS industry and create new processes when needs arise. Regardless of changes to the regulatory landscape, we strive to offer consistently high, reliable SMS message deliverability rates.
How can I register a Sender ID?
You can find a list of countries that support Sender IDs in Supported countries and regions in the Amazon Pinpoint User Guide. That document also lists the countries that require pre-registration of Sender IDs.
If you plan to send messages to a country that requires Sender ID registration, you must complete the registration process. The registration process can be complicated, with many specific requirements and with different processes in each country. The AWS Support team can work with you to complete your registration. The first step in registering your Sender ID is to create a case with AWS Support. You can find more information about creating a case in Requesting Sender IDs for SMS messaging in the Amazon Pinpoint User Guide.
When you request a Sender ID, we provide you with an estimate of how long the request will take to complete. This estimate is based on the completion times that we’ve seen from other customers. Because each country has its own process, completion times for registration vary by destination country. For example, Sender ID registration in India can be complete in one week or less, whereas it can take six weeks or more in Vietnam. These requests can’t be expedited, because they involve the carriers themselves making changes to the ways that their networks are configured. We suggest that you start your registration process early so that you can start sending messages as soon as you launch your product or service.
When you create a case, it’s important that you check on it regularly. The AWS Support team will provide you with registration materials, such as the forms and cover letters that you must submit to begin the registration process. We recommend that you provide all of the requested information with as much detail as you can. Too much information is better than too little information. We also recommend that you don’t skip any fields in the registration forms that we send you. The carriers require that you provide responses in all of the fields on these forms. This is true even if you believe that a field doesn’t apply to your use case. This might occur if you’re registering a One-Time Password (OTP) use case, and the carriers require you to provide a response to the keyword “STOP.” Although it doesn’t seem logical that customers would want to opt-out of receiving one-time passwords, the carriers in most countries require you to provide recipients with a way to completely opt-out of receiving messages from you.
After you submit your application, it’s also possible that the mobile carriers will have feedback about your application. In this situation, you have to address their concerns before the registration process can continue. Addressing these concerns quickly can help reduce delays in completing your request.
Sender IDs are a great tool for reaching your customers by SMS. You can learn more about sender IDs and the other types of origination identities that Amazon Pinpoint supports in Originating identities for SMS messaging in the Amazon Pinpoint User Guide. Happy sending!