Australia’s SMS Sender ID Registry: All You Need to Know 

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In May 2023, the Australian government announced it was launching Australia’s first SMS Sender ID Registry to crack down on scammers after 47% of Aussies reported receiving fake or deceptive text messages. 

In this blog post, we’ll give you an update on the progress of the SMS Sender ID Registry and cover everything you need to know about it to ensure your business isn’t targeted by scammers. 

What is an SMS Sender ID? 

Before we take a deeper look into the SMS Registry, let’s quickly identify what an SMS Sender ID is. 

A Sender ID is the unique name or number an organisation uses when sending SMS that allows recipients to identify who the sender is

If your business uses SMS to communicate, you’ll appreciate the importance of using a Sender ID as it helps build trust and lets your customers know that it’s you who’s messaging them, but as you’ll soon learn, scammers are using this trust to their advantage… 

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See the Sender IDs ‘School,’ ‘Bank Center’ and ‘Hospital Center’ in the screenshots above.

What is the SMS Sender ID Registry in Australia? 

The SMS Sender ID Registry is a government initiative that aims to protect Australian businesses from being ‘spoofed’ and their customers from smishing attacks

By verifying and securing Sender IDs, the registry aims to prevent scammers from impersonating trusted organisations and sending malicious texts on their behalf. 

It was announced as part of the 2023-2024 Federal Budget with the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) given AUD$10 million over four years to launch and maintain the registry. 

Similar initiatives have also been launched in the UK and Singapore in recent years as governments look to clamp down on SMS fraud.

Why has the SMS Sender ID Registry been introduced? 

The SMS Sender ID Registry has been introduced to combat the increasing number of SMS scam attacks that Australia has seen in recent years. 

With a recent report from the ACMA revealing that Australians lost over AUD $25 million to SMS scammers in 2023 alone, the Australian government decided to clamp down. 

“With more and more Australians reporting scam text messages, the Albanese Government is taking strong action by funding the regulator to establish a new SMS sender ID Registry to support telcos in stopping scammers from imitating trusted brands.” 

– Minister for Communications, the Hon Michelle Rowland MP 

How will the SMS Sender ID Registry affect your business? 

The SMS Sender ID Registry will help safeguard your business against scammers and provide your customers with a more secure user experience. 

By enrolling in the SMS Registry, your customers and employees will be able to trust that the texts they receive from you are genuine and not with unwanted consequences. 

Showing your commitment to responsible SMS practices also highlights that you have your customer’s best interests at heart and are being proactive in the fight against fraudulent messaging attacks.  

When does the SMS Sender ID Registry roll out? 

The SMS Registry was rolled out in a voluntary pilot phase in December 2023 ahead of a nationwide rollout set for later in 2024. 

The specific launch date for the full implementation hasn’t been confirmed yet and will be determined as the pilot phase progresses and the outcomes of the testing period become clearer. 

It is yet to be seen whether or not registration will be mandatory, with the Australian government keen to consult both businesses and consumers before coming to a decision.

How can you enroll for the SMS Sender ID Registry? 

At present you cannot enroll for the SMS Sender ID Registry, however the ACMA have confirmed they will formally invite organisations that have been the subject of spoof text scams to participate in the scheme from early 2024. 

What else can you do to protect against scam attacks? 

Although you may not be able to enroll onto the SMS Sender ID Registry just yet, there are still lots of steps you can take to ensure your business is protected against SMS scammers. 

One of the most important of which is to partner with a reliable and secure messaging provider. 

Our enterprise messaging platform, Soprano Connect, helps more than 1,000 enterprises and government organisations around the world send SMS to their customers and employees securely. 

To find out exactly how our software can help you send SMS securely and protect against scam attacks, speak with one of our solution specialists today!