The new generation of A2P communications: everything you need to know about 10DLC in 2023

by BICS | April 4, 2023

The new generation of A2P communications:  everything you need to know about 10DLC in 2023
clock 5 mins read

Receiving a text message to confirm an appointment, send you a discount, or update you on your order delivery, has become a part of everyday life in a short amount of time. Global companies have quickly embraced Application-to-Person (A2P) messaging for everything from promotional campaigns to customer service and operations.

While A2P messaging is a channel that is still ripe for opportunity, it’s also one that’s been increasingly targeted by fraudsters and spammers. From overzealous promotional texts to Smishing, consumer trust can be rapidly eroded. It’s no wonder that regulators worldwide are keen to add protocols and restrictions to protect the customer’s experience.

In order to restore trust and allow legitimate businesses to launch high volume campaigns without delivery issues, U.S. carriers designed a program called 10DLC. This new generation of A2P sanctioned communications puts the customers’ interests first while also offering significant benefits to businesses.

What is 10DLC and why does it matter?

If you are creating A2P messaging campaigns in the U.S. then you should already be familiar with 10DLC.

10DLC stands for 10 digit long code and it’s the sanctioned system used for business or marketing texting campaigns in the U.S. As shared short codes are no longer supported by most carriers, except for 2FA and OTP use cases, long codes are one of the best options for companies.

Organizations not registered to use 10DLC for their long code A2P campaigns are not only at risk of heavy fines but also significantly reducing their delivery success rates. They could even see their numbers blocked at the operator’s discretion.

Essentially, if you want to deliver long code A2P campaigns in the U.S., there’s no shortcut: you need to register for 10DLC.

The benefits of registering for 10DLC for your business are numerous:

  • Increase customer trust by using a local number
  • Streamline your A2P communications under one roof
  • Increase your delivery success rates
  • Avoid being flagged as spam
  • Send higher volumes of SMS messages without being penalized
  • Enable your 10DLC number with voice as well as SMS to make it easier for your customers to get in touch

Campaigns using 10DLC can vary from large campaigns to more punctual uses. For example, it could be used by a utility company sending millions of reminders each month or by a dentist’s office sending a few thousand appointment reminders with the option to easily reschedule.

Which use cases are supported by 10DLC?

Standard use cases and special use cases are available on 10DLC depending on your Brand profile and trust score. The following standard use cases are available to all Brands:

  • 2FA : For any authentication, verification, or one-time passcode
  • Account Notifications: Standard notifications for account holders
  • Customer Care: All customer interactions, including customer support
  • Delivery Notifications: To receive information about the delivery status of an order
  • Fraud Alert Messaging: Alerts for any potentially fraudulent activity on an account
  • Higher Education: Campaigns created for colleges, universities, and other educational institutions that fall outside of any “free to the consumer” messaging model
  • Low Volume Mixed: For brands with multiple use cases and low volume, such as small businesses
  • Marketing – Any communication with marketing and/ or promotional content
  • Mixed – Any messaging campaign containing two to five standard uses cases
  • Polling and voting – Requests for surveys and voting for non-political arenas
  • Public Service Announcement – An informational message about an important issue
  • Security Alert – A notification that the security of a system has been breached in some way

Special use cases, which require additional vetting and pre or post approval from MNOs to be available are, by their nature, linked to more sensitive messaging including political and charity messaging, K-12 educational messaging, and communications between influencers and their communities.

How do you register for 10DLC?

In short, companies will need to register with The Campaign Registry (TCR). TCR is the Reputation Authority for registering A2P 10DLC messaging campaigns, and its mission is to fight the good fight against unsolicited messages and bad actors.

There are many different organizations involved in A2P messaging campaigns, these are the ones that TCR has defined:

  • Brand: This is the company that the consumer believes they are receiving the messages from
  • Campaign Service Provider (CSP): The messaging platform that creates and manages campaigns for their Brand customers
  • Direct Connect Aggregators (DCA): A connectivity partner that has direct relationships with U.S. carriers
  • Mobile Network Operators (MNO): The company that provides connectivity to consumers

The two basic steps of Brand registration, which are taken care of by a CSP, are:

  • Brand registration: As well as company details, each Brand will also undergo an identity verification process to confirm its legitimacy and award it a “Verified” status. Being verified is required to send messages on 10DLC.
    • Optionally, you can also request a Vetting Score, which is a deeper series of checks that could give the Brand higher throughputs or access to special use cases when creating campaigns.
  • Campaign registration:
    • To register a campaign, CSPs will select the use case most appropriate and submit it for approval. There are standard use cases available to most Brands, such as 2FA, delivery notifications, or security alerts. Some special use cases will require pre or post approval from MNOs to be available, such as emergency notifications, election campaigns, or charity communications.
    • CSPs will then need to select the sample messages that best describe the type of content the Brand will send out.
    • The Connectivity Partner will need to be selected and any resellers declared before submitting the campaign.

How can BICS support you?

Whether you do business in France, in the U.S., or anywhere else in the world, our team is here to help you navigate ever changing regulations. As a registered CSP with the TCR since November 2022, we are ideally placed to help you activate your Brands and Campaigns, without the complexity.

As a Brand, to use 10DLC, here’s what you need to do:

  • Purchase a number or activate A2P with BICS (if you already have a number from another service provider)
  • Fill out a form on the MyNumbers portal
  • The BICS provisioning team will take care of registering you with TCR and activating numbers inside the Connectivity Partner (CNP) portal
  • Once TCR has approved your Brand and campaign, you can begin sending A2P messages.

We can also support resellers who have registered as CSPs with the TCR, by being their CNP.

Whatever your use cases, contact our team today to find a solution customized to your needs.