Industry collaborates to tackle SMS fraud

Press release – June 28, 2018

MEF launches Trust in Enterprise Messaging. Download the industry A2P SMS Code of Conduct here 

Fraudsters are damaging the trust of both enterprises and consumers and pushing them away from the world’s most ubiquitous communications channel: SMS. To mitigate this risk and protect consumers from harm, industry leaders have been collaborating to combat fraud which is estimated to cost the enterprise messaging ecosystem US$ 7.7bn annually in lost revenue.

Today, global trade body, Mobile Ecosystem Forum (MEF) has launched the Trust in Enterprise Messaging (TEM) service backed by an industry Code of Conduct for A2P (Applications to Person) SMS.The global code sets out best practice for all actors operating within the A2P SMS sector and is based on 10 principles offering guidance on commercial, procedural and technical requirements as well as an emphasis on consumer protection. The Code was developed by the 30+ participants of MEF’s Future of Messaging Programme that include MNOs Telefonica, Telenor and Vodafone, messaging companies and signalling providers.

A self-regulatory service, TEM accelerates market clean-up and educates enterprise messaging solution buyers about the threats of fraudulent practices and poor procurement processes. TEM’s launch signatories include market leaders from the messaging ecosystem that, combined, send over 60 billion A2P SMS messages per annum.

The Code is essential to protect consumers from harm especially fraud such as spoofing (pretending to be someone you are not) and smishing (attempt to trick someone into revealing sensitive and private information). Demand for enterprise messaging via SMS continues to grow with 1.67 trillion messages sent in 2017 and analysts forecasting an increase to 2.8 trillion by 2022. This equates to market growth from US$ 11.86bn to US$ 26.61bn, in the same period1.

An independent Compliance Committee will oversee the Code and will include representatives from trade associations, independent lawyers and local regulators. MEF will now roll out the Code and its associated TEM Badge with an industry education programme as well as activate local projects that uphold the principles of the Code.

MEF’s COO Joanne Lacey said: “Today’s launch of Trust in Enterprise Messaging is the result of three years of collaboration of the Future of Messaging Programme’s fraud management working group which brings together competitors and customers alike to develop industry solutions to tackle fraud.”

Rob Malcolm, MEF Global Board Director and VP Marketing & Online Sales for CLX Communications,one of the founders of the Programme, said: “The industry needs come together to stamp out fraud and consumer harm. The TEM badge is a powerful symbol of that commitment. We recommend buyers of A2P SMS to buy from companies that are committed to this initiative.”

Lacey continues: “Thanks to all the participants and industry partners who have contributed to the development of the Code. In particular, we would like to recognise the launch signatories from the programme: Apprentice Valley, BulkSMS, CLX Communications, Dimoco, Gemalto, IMImobile Intelligent Networks, iTouch Messaging Services, Kaleyra, MMD Smart, Modica, Movitext,OpenMarket, Quiubas, rdcom, RealNetworks, TWW, Tyntec and XConnect.

We encourage all messaging stakeholders to get involved to sign up to the Code and urge enterprises to recognise the proactive leadership of TEM badge holders to accelerate the adoption of best practice and actively reduce the impact of fraud in this key growth area of the mobile ecosystem.”

The Code is available to download here and participation in the Trust in Enterprise Messaging serviceis open to any stakeholder in the messaging ecosystem.

About MEF
The Mobile Ecosystem Forum is a global trade body that acts as an impartial and authoritative champion for addressing issues affecting the broadening mobile ecosystem. We provide our members with a global and cross-sector platform for networking, collaboration and advancingindustry solutions. The goal is to accelerate the growth of a sustainable mobile ecosystem that drives inclusion for all and delivers trusted services that enrich the lives of consumers worldwide.

Established in 2000 and headquartered in the UK, MEF has members across Africa, Asia, Europe, North and Latin America.

About Future of Messaging Programme
Founded in 2015 and with over 30 industry participants, MEF’s Future of MessagingProgramme brings together all stakeholders in the mobile messaging ecosystem, to achieve a common goal to promote and accelerate best practices in order to limit fraudulent behaviours and identify new opportunities for enterprise messaging. The initiative is part of MEF’s ongoing commitment to advocate industry best practice and self-regulation across the mobile ecosystem.

1 Figures from Mobilesquared’s “GLOBAL A2P SMS MESSAGING FORECASTS BY COUNTRY 2017-2022” report.