Even as SMS continues to be a key communication channel for businesses, its attraction also brings a number of unscrupulous players who tend to spam consumers. To fight spam, regulators globally have been bringing new regulations to ensure customer protection while maintaining business continuity. In this blog, we will review process, limitations and best practices for sending SMS in Singapore.
The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) in Singapore has implemented new guidelines for SMS registration in order to protect consumers from spam and fraudulent messages. These guidelines, which came into effect on January 31, 2023, require all organizations that wish to send SMS messages with alphanumeric Sender IDs to first register their Sender IDs with the Singapore SMS Sender ID Registry (SSIR).
Process and background for Business SMS in Singapore
After July 31, 2023, Singapore operators have exclusively allowed messages with registered sender IDs to pass through. Messages originating from unregistered senders will be categorized as “possible spam” temporarily, pending an update from SG-NIC.
To ensure compliance with these regulations and to prevent any interruptions in their SMS communications, businesses must complete the registration of their accounts when sending bulk messages in Singapore. This involves submitting their chosen sender ID(s) through the SSIR portal and assigning Participating Aggregators (PA).
How to send SMS to Singapore
You can review the process for registering for SMS in Singapore below. While the process seems tedious, if you sign up with EnableX, our teams will guide you through the entire process. Please note EnableX offers SMS services to Singapore for both Singapore incorporated and overseas businesses. You can sign up for a free SMS API trial, or contact our team for assistance. EnableX can help you get whitelisted in the SGNIC SMS Sender Id Registry. Once the process is completed, your organisation’s name will likely appear in the registry.
Step-by-step guide for Singapore SMS Registration
Registering Sender IDs is a straightforward process:
- Create an SSIR Account: Visit the SSR Portal, and create an account using your organization’s registered name, address, and UEN (Unique Entity Number).
- Designate an Admin Account Holder: Identify an individual within your organization to serve as the admin account holder. This individual will manage user accounts and Sender IDs.
- Verify SMS Aggregators: Confirm that your SMS aggregator(s) are Participating Aggregators (“PA”) in the SSIR. You can find a list of PAs here.
- Submit Sender ID Applications: Complete and submit individual Sender ID applications for each Sender ID you intend to register.
- Company Verification: Provide your organization’s Corppass for company authentication purposes.
- Review and Approval: The SSIR will review your applications and provide feedback or approval notifications.
Information Required for Singapore SMS Registration
Before you begin the account creation process, please ensure you have the following information readily available:
- Organization Registration Details:
- Your organization’s registered name as per the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) records.
- Your organization’s registered address as per the ACRA records.
- Your organization’s Unique Entity Number (UEN).
- Admin Account Holder Information:
- Full name of the individual designated as your organization’s Admin account holder for the SSIR portal.
- Contact number of the Admin account holder.
- Email address of the Admin account holder.
- SMS Aggregator Information:
- Name(s) of the SMS aggregator(s) your organization currently works with to deliver SMS messages.
- Verify that the SMS aggregator(s) you work with are Participating Aggregators (“PA”) in the SSIR. You can find a list of PAs here.
- Sender ID Information:
- List of Sender ID(s) you intend to register for your organization.
- Company Verification:
- Have your organization’s Corppass ready for company authentication purposes.
Understanding the SSIR and Alphanumeric Sender IDs
What is an alphanumeric Sender ID?
An alphanumeric Sender ID is a name or code that appears in the “From” field of an SMS message. It is used to identify the sender of the message. The alphanumeric Sender ID should:
- have a minimum of 3 characters and a maximum of 11 characters;
- not contain non-Latin characters;
- be in any combination of upper/lower casing;
- not be generic in nature (for e.g. “OTP”, “SMS”, etc.);
- not be sensitive in nature;
- not contain leading or trailing spaces; and
- only include the allowed special characters found in the Annex
Why do I need to register my alphanumeric Sender ID?
By registering your alphanumeric Sender ID, you are verifying that you are a legitimate organization and that you are not sending spam or fraudulent messages. This helps to protect consumers from receiving unwanted and harmful SMS messages.
How do I register my alphanumeric Sender ID for Singapore SMS?
To register your alphanumeric Sender ID, you will need to create an account with the SSIR and then follow the registration process (given below). The registration process is relatively simple and can be completed online.
What are the benefits of registering my alphanumeric Sender ID?
In addition to protecting consumers, registering your alphanumeric Sender ID also has several other benefits, including:
- Increased deliverability of your SMS messages
- Improved brand awareness
- Enhanced customer engagement
What are the penalties for not registering my alphanumeric Sender ID?
If you do not register your alphanumeric Sender ID, you may be subject to penalties, including fines and the blocking of your SMS messages.
Singapore SMS Registration Details
|ISO code The International Organization for Standardization two-character representation for the given locale.||SG|
|Region of Country||Asia|
|Mobile country code|
A three-digit identifier linked to a specific location and employed in combination with a Mobile Network Code to uniquely distinguish mobile networks.
The dialing prefix is employed to initiate a phone call or send a text message from one location to another specified location.
Singapore SMS Registration Guidelines and Restrictions
In addition to registering Sender IDs, organizations must also adhere to the following guidelines:
- Obtain consent: Organizations must obtain explicit consent from recipients before sending them SMS messages.
- Avoid unsolicited messages: Refrain from sending unsolicited SMS messages unless strictly necessary for essential notifications or transactional purposes.
- Adhere to content restrictions: Avoid sending SMS messages that are false, misleading, deceptive, offensive, or harmful.
- Comply with laws and regulations: Ensure your SMS messaging practices adhere to all applicable laws and regulations.
Here are specific restrictions on Singapore SMS content:
- Religious content: SMS messages must not promote or disparage any particular religion or religious group.
- Gambling: SMS messages must not promote or facilitate gambling activities.
- Adult content: SMS messages must not contain sexually suggestive or explicit content.
- Political content: SMS messages must not promote or disparage any particular political party or candidate.
- Money lending: SMS messages must not promote or facilitate money lending activities.
Penalties for non-compliance:
Organizations that do not comply with the IMDA’s SMS messaging guidelines may be subject to penalties, including fines and the blocking of their SMS messages. Here are some additional tips for avoiding SMS spam filters:
- Use clear and concise language: Avoid using jargon or technical terms that recipients may not understand.
- Keep your messages short and to the point: Recipients are more likely to read and respond to shorter messages.
- Personalize your messages: Use the recipient’s name and other relevant information to make your messages more personal.
- Provide an easy way to unsubscribe: Give recipients a clear and easy way to unsubscribe from your SMS messages.
- Use a clear and recognizable Sender ID: This will help recipients identify your messages and avoid mistaking them for spam.
What happens if you don’t register with the SSIR?
Sender IDs that remain unregistered will carry a “Likely-SCAM” header for a period of roughly 6 months. It is strongly advised for merchants to promptly complete the registration of their Sender IDs with the SSIR.
Singapore SMS Registration Useful Documentation & Resources
- InfoComm Development Authority of Singapore – https://www.imda.gov.sg/
- Personal Data Protection Act – https://www.pdpc.gov.sg/
- Consumer’s Association of Singapore – https://www.imda.gov.sg/
Singapore’s SMS registration regime plays a crucial role in safeguarding consumers from SMS spam and protecting the integrity of SMS communication. By registering Sender IDs and adhering to the IMDA guidelines, organizations can ensure their SMS messaging practices are both compliant and effective, fostering positive customer experiences and strengthening brand reputation.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this blog post is intended to be a general guide for businesses seeking to set up an A2P SMS service in Singapore. It is important to note that Singapore regulations are subject to change, and businesses are advised to consult with relevant authorities and professionals for the most up-to-date information and guidance. The author of this blog post is not responsible for any inaccuracies or outdated information presented. Businesses should always refer to the official website and guidelines for the most accurate and current information.