SMS marketer? This new instruction is for you

You’ll be hard pressed to find an Israeli who doesn’t receives at least once a day a text message offering them to buy medical cannabis, asking for a donation or offering an instant loan with attractive terms. In most cases, these are a fake and anonymous spam messages, designed to tempt us to give out credit card information, make transfers to PayPal accounts or provide personal details – in short, phishing

A new administrative order from the Ministry of Communications, set is in effect as of April 4th 2023, is meant to put an end to this phenomenon, by requiring companies who work in distributing SMS messages in Israel to perform a reliable identification using “Know Your Client” method, before allowing them to buy SMS marketing packages. The purpose of the new order is to reveal the identity of SMS distributors, phone numbers from which the messages are sent and verifying the identity of the credit card holder using a random one-time password (3D Secure technology).

How will it work?

As soon as the order is in effect, every advertiser who wishes to purchase a SMS marketing package for the first time will be required to go through a “Know Your Client” (KYC) method by the SMS distribution company. Identifying the client will be done by a recorded video meeting, providing two ID cards and certificates proving ownership of a business or an authorized position in an organization that seeks to purchase the marketing package.

It will also be forbidden to send marketing messages using unidentified phone numbers, or names containing characters, symbols or Latin letters that haven’t been positively verified. In addition, access to the message distribution system will require a two-step verification, which will include strong passwords only and an automated account locking mechanism, which will lock the account automatically after five incorrect login attempts.

Active Trail CEO: we applaud the regulation 

Active Trail is prepared for the application of the new order, by implementing advanced technological tools, which will assist with ready and fast verification, as required. According to Naor Mann, Active Trail’s CEO, the company invests a lot of effort to prevent the distribution of spam messages, fake messages and messages that have a risk of misleading the public. “We welcome this regulation protecting recipients, and we are committed to implementing it, while maintaining service at the highest standards.” 

According to a survey done by Active Trail, conducted by ifocus, 98% of Israelis make sure they open the SMS application on their smartphone, 79% of Israelis open messages at least once a day, and 20% read each message they receive.