SMS: SEBI Asks Market Intermediaries To Strictly Follow TRAI’s New Regulation
Moneylife Digital Team 24 March 2021
Market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has asked registered entities including market infrastructure institutions (MIIs) to strictly follow SMS regulation issued by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). 
In a release, SEBI says it noticed unsolicited messages containing stock tips and investment advice with respect to listed companies are increasingly being circulated through bulk SMS, inducing investors and the general public to invest in or purchase the stocks of certain listed companies.
"The circulation of misleading messages is not only detrimental to the interest of the investors but also adversely affects the integrity of the securities market," it added.
In July 2018, TRAI notified Telecom Commercial Communications Customer Preference Regulations, 2018 (TCCCP Regulations). Initially it was supposed to be implemented from 8 March 2021. However, due to inadequate preparations from preparations by telecom companies as well as service-providers, which hit customers very hard, the regulator had decided to postpone it for seven days.
In a release, TRAI had said, "It has been observed that some of the principal entities have not fulfilled the requirements as envisaged in TCCCPR. As a result, their SMS were getting dropped after implementation of the scrubbing of SMS by telecom service providers (TSPs). In order to protect the interest of consumers, it has been decided that scrubbing of SMS by TSPs shall be suspended temporarily for seven days to enable the principal entities to register the template of SMS so that no inconvenience is faced by the customers."
As per the revised guidelines, entities that want to communicate through SMS with their customers will now have to register themselves with telecom operators. As per the guidelines, these entities and bulk SMS service-providers will be accountable to telcos, who will be directly accountable to TRAI. The system will be governed through distributed ledger technology (DLT) or blockchain and all the entities listed on this platform will be interlinked with each other.
The regulations by TRAI mandate registration of transaction and service-related OTP (one-time password) templates. Every content template that is being registered by a principal entity (telco) is required to contain a ‘brand name’ or complete business name, brand name and trademark in the content field. Any entity which does not have registration and sender ID approved by telcos, will find that its SMSes are not being processed and would fail to deliver to the intended recipient. 
From 8 March 2021, this process, known as template registration and scrubbing, had gone live. However, it resulted in customers not receiving OTPs and was postponed for seven days.
SEBI says, "These new regulations have a provision for principal entities (PE) or entities who intent to send bulk SMS to register with the TSPs and are also required to register the template of the message. It may be noted that effective implementation of these new regulations will help to protect investors and the general public from unsolicited and often misleading messages."
"Non-compliance with the provisions of said regulations may result in disruption of delivery of their messages to the investors," the market regulator says.
Gopal krishnan
3 years ago
Good news. Congratulations.
May be an end for another trap & nuisance.
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