Two-Factor Authentication, also known as 2FA, is an extra layer of security that requires users to utilise both their online password and their mobile phone to verify their identity to access a service, often via an online application.
In addition to using their service credentials to access sensitive data, the user also receives a one-time passcode or PIN number on a token or via SMS.
The advantage of using a mobile phone for 2FA is that is that unlike a token, users tend to carry their mobile devices with them throughout the day and are comfortable using it to increase levels of security.
Therefore, using a mobile phone in this way means that it is possible for those providing services to ensure that users receive the verification PIN over something that only they have.
The one-time PIN (OTP) number is generated and sent to the user’s mobile phone. The user receives the OTP and types it into the application to confirm their identity and access the service or web application.
A2P (Application-to-Person) SMS Messaging
Application-to-Person SMS (A2P SMS) is the process of sending mobile messages from an application to a mobile user.
Businesses can use it to communicate with customers, authenticate users of online services, or provide time-sensitive alerts. In each case, communication is initiated from a business application, and not from a user’s mobile phone, as is the case with P2P (Person to Person) SMS.
Typical use-cases of A2P SMS include banking notifications, critical and time sensitive alerts, two factor authentication, automatic booking confirmations, loyalty programmes and marketing notifications etc.
Online booking platforms, corporate platforms and support services have utilised A2P SMS to improve their efficiency and deliver enhanced communication.
The banking sector has been using A2P SMS for over 15 years through delivery, event-based SMS notifications to their clients’ mobile devices. This has included anti-fraud alerts, account balances, payment reminders and withdrawal notifications.
Alphanumeric Sender ID
The alphanumeric sender ID technology provides the sender with the opportunity to send messages with customised sender ID that provides instant brand recognition when sending bulk SMS by displaying the brand’s name. It can be constructed from any combination of numeric and alpha characters: (0-9, a-z, A-Z, _). This allows users to identify the sender more easily and help increase open rates.
However, the receiver of the message is not able to reply to a message sent with an alphanumeric sender ID, making it more suited to service announcements when you wish to keep an audience updated with recent information.
Fixed Sender ID
A fixed sender ID is a predetermined numeric identification number that has been assigned to a sender that cannot be modified. It follows the standard MSISDN format – The ITU Telecommunication Standardisation Sector recommendations, meaning that the number is limited to 15 digits, with the first 3 being reserved for the country code with prefixes not included.
The minimum length of the MSISDN is not specified by ITU Telecommunication Standardisation Sector but is instead specified in the national numbering plans by the telecommunications regulator in each country.
A mobile telephony standard which was introduced in the early 1990s by the European Telecommunications Standard Institute. It was first launched in Finland in 1991, GSM soon became adopted throughout Europe and then around the globe.
At the moment, GSM accounts for approximately 90% of the world’s mobile market, making it the global default mobile standard.
Mobile Network Operator (MNO)
A mobile network operator (MNO) provides wireless communication services and owns or controls the elements required to provide services to end users, including the allocation of radio spectrums, wireless network infrastructure and additional components that are required to support operations.
Basically, a mobile network operator makes it possible for you make calls, send messages and use data with your telephone.
Mobile Data Penetration
Mobile data penetration is the number of smartphones in a country. It is usually presented as a percentage of the population using smartphones.
Mobile Number Portability
Mobile Number Portability (MNP) enables mobile telephone users to retain their mobile telephone numbers when switching from one mobile network operator to another. Since its launch in Singapore in 1997, over a hundred markets today allow MNP. Most MNOs offer this service for free or for a nominal price, enabling users to change numbers or switch operators with ease.
Numeric Sender ID
Numeric Sender ID is the default sender type of an SMS in standard MSISDN format. It is possible for recipients to reply to messages with a numeric sender ID, which provides the possibility to utilise two-way messaging.
The opt-in function is a way in which companies can obtain permission from an individual for promotional purposes. This includes sending content or messages to his or her mobile number, email address or to their chat app account. These messages are usually used for sending special or exclusive offers, changes to terms and conditions.
Zero rate short codes can be used as a way in which to enable and encourage users to opt-in without any additional costs. These are also used for when users with to opt-out of receiving messages and is a straightforward way in which to ensure that senders are complying with relevant legislation.
There are parts of the world where it is required by law to include the opt out feature as part of the message’s text. In addition to this, the messages also include information on how the user can opt-out of future communication.
Person to Application SMS (P2A) is when a mobile user has the functionality to send an SMS to an application and is effectively the opposite to A2P SMS. The exchange is always initiated by the end user by sending an SMS to the application and the brand or company then replying.
There are advantages of this method of communication for both users and brands alike, with P2A SMS providing a trusted method of communication that is both ubiquitous and cost-effective for both brands and users.
Person to Person SMS is when two mobile phone users are sending to mobile messages to one another. This is the most common type of SMS that is sent by mobile phone users, even with the rise of chat apps and other messaging channels.
RCS (Rich Communication Services)
Rich Communication Services (RCS) is the evolution of traditional SMS and has even been described as SMS 2.0.
It is an IP-based messaging channel that is provided to users through their mobile operator networks. It can be used for both Person to Person (P2P) and Application to Person (A2P) communication and benefits from the ubiquity and reach of SMS, while offering the rich features of chat apps, such as Facebook Messenger, Telegram, Viber etc. to deliver an enhanced and interactive messaging experience to end users.
The channel does still not enjoy widespread awareness but over the coming years that will change once brands and users embrace all that RCS has to offer.
For brands it enables them to build deeper and stronger relationships with their current and target customers through branded and interactive two-way-communication.
RCS for business messaging is used for RCS A2P Communication and will revolutionise the way in which brands and users communicate and provides empowering features that will amplify their current messaging capabilities. There is the opportunitiy for brands to create messaging that incorporates rich multimedia, suggested replies, QR codes, Google Pay and other features of the Android eco-system.
This incorporation of the Android ecosystem means that adoption has been and will continue to be seamless as users are already familiar with its features and functionality, meaning that the impressive performance metrics of SMS will be carried across to RCS in the long-term. This is further complemented by the fact that unlike chat apps, it is native on users’ devices meaning that is provides increased penetration for brands, especially as it will be possible for them to reach users without relying on them downloading a mobile application.
In the longer-term RCS will eventually become the standard messaging app with ubiquitous reach. rdcom is a Google partner for RCS and is the ideal choice to guide you through your adoption of this new and exciting messaging channel.
Mobile roaming refers to the ability for mobile phone users to use their phone to make or receive calls, send SMS and use data outside of the coverage area of their mobile network operator. The handset uses the identity of the subscriber to access the network in the country being visited.
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