A Guide to 10DLC & Important Updates to Know

Posted on May 22, 2021

Businesses have increasingly turned to texting as a way to interact with their customers. They have adopted the “Application-to-Person” (A2P) messaging approach to send messages in bulk from 10DLC phone numbers to consumers around the U.S.

For background, 10DLC or 10-digit long code numbers are local 10-digit numbers that support high volumes of messages. In short, 10DLC is a new set of requirements that apply to A2P messaging using U.S. 10-digital geographic numbers. These requirements are intended to protect consumers from spam, while ensuring that good actors have access to the resources they need to engage with their customers.

Changes in the Industry

You may have updates across the industry about new compliance requirements for 10DLC and A2P messaging. Implementation of A2P 10DLC has seen a massive spike over the past decade because these numbers provide businesses with the opportunity to communicate with their customers in volume and using a verified local presence. A major benefit of using a recognized local number in B2C communications is the high open and response rates. When customers recognize a number they are more likely to trust the sender and even respond to a message.

While A2P 10DLC messaging can provide significant returns, the industry has been experiencing an increase in unwanted messages and spam, so much so that research shows a 20% increase month-over-month in the number of blocked texts. Unwanted messages aren’t just bad practice – they erode consumer trust, lead to filtering that prevents critical messages from getting through and can alter consumer behavior toward SMS/MMS in general.

In response to these concerns and to protect consumers from unwanted messages, all major U.S. wireless carriers have announced support for a new set of requirements that applies to A2P messaging over 10-digit geographic numbers. At this time messaging over toll-free numbers remains unaffected.

The new requirements come in two categories: Brand & Campaign Registration and Carrier Surcharges for outbound messages.

  1. Brand & Campaign Registration: Customers generating long code A2P messages are now required to register both their business (brand) and messaging use-case(s) (campaigns) in a central repository.
  2. Carrier Surcharges: These are wireless, carrier-imposed surcharges, sometimes referred to as ‘pass-through fees’, for each message terminated to the carriers’ phone numbers. They vary by carrier, message-type (SMS or MMS), and in the case of AT&T, also by type of campaign. We’ve compiled a list of these surcharges here.

To register a campaign, customers must start by choosing from different campaign options such as alerts, promotional marketing, two-factor authentication, etc. They must also provide a description of the campaign, sample message(s); and indicate options they provide for their end-users to opt in or out of receiving messages, among other information.

By having access to both business and use-case information, the major wireless carriers believe they can more effectively police abuse of long code A2P Messaging, while simultaneously supporting its legitimate use. These new registration requirements will also help create improved trust among consumers and businesses when sending messages via A2P 10DLCs.

Specifics around the details, timing, and pricing impacts of the compliance changes are still being finalized by carriers. Flowroute is committed to helping customers secure compliance by sharing all the information we have available at this time. For more details on the registration criteria and process, check out this page.

We anticipate you may have questions about what these compliance updates mean for you and what you can expect. Outlined below is additional information on pricing and next steps for 10DLC registration.

What Does This Mean for Flowroute Customers?

Flowroute’s texting traffic falls under the A2P 10DLC classification. As such, we will be working with our customers to register their brands, campaigns and associated phone numbers. By completing the registration, companies will be approved to continue using messaging and their messaging traffic will not be blocked.

We’ve created a phased approach to build the necessary tooling that will allow our customers to perform Brand & Campaign Registration in a straightforward manner directly via Flowroute.

  1. Phase 1: By the end of May 2021, we expect to share details about a 10DLC Registration Page on our Manage Portal, which you can use to submit all Brand & Campaign registrations via a .csv file.
  2. Phase 2: We will make available, via both Manage and our Messaging API, automation that will allow you to further mechanize all things 10DLC. Stay tuned for details on this capability.

Brand & Campaign Registration Costs

Flowroute, and other carriers, are still awaiting AT&T and T-Mobile’s final pricing and surcharge information related to registration. Outlined below is our anticipated pricing:

Expected Registration Fees:

  • Brand registration fee—$4 per brand/one-time fee
  • Campaign registration fee—$50 per campaign/one-time fee from T-Mobile

Expected Monthly Fees:

  • Campaign running fee—$2 to $10 per campaign (determined by use case)
  • Carrier surcharges—$.002-.005 per SMS (in- and out-bound)

Is Registration Required?

It’s important to note that companies that are not registered will be blocked from sending messages to users who use AT&T and T-Mobile wireless service. They can also see an impact to pricing and fees. For example, a higher surcharge fee per message will likely be applied and there will be a $10,000 fee if T-Mobile receives a complaint that traffic is being sent prior to the program being fully approved. For more information on possible fines and penalties, visit this page.

A deadline for registration is not set in stone, but it is important to avoid having messages blocked. A best practice is to check with your Flowroute account manager if you have specific questions, since the information changes regularly.

How to Register?

We are committed to supporting our customers through the registration process and making it as smooth as possible. We are working hard to make registration easy. Stay tuned and look for communication from our customer service team in the coming weeks.

We appreciate your commitment to ensuring safe and trusted communications. Please reach out to Flowroute Support with any questions or support needs related to 10DLC updates and registering your campaigns.

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