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Restrictions for SMS Sender IDs in the UK
Restrictions for SMS Sender IDs in the UK

Understand the guidelines that must be followed for SMS Sender IDs in the UK.

Gareth Burroughes avatar
Written by Gareth Burroughes
Updated over a week ago

Important note

The majority of the restrictions mentioned in this article came into effect starting September 12th, 2023. Restrictions on brand names and additional banned generic words come into effect from 31st October 2023.

Numeric Sender IDs

Numeric Sender IDs must start with the following digits:

Type

Starting Digits

Additional info

Long number

07 or 44.

Shortcode

6, 7, or 8.

Shortcodes in the UK consist of 5 numbers, so they must always be 5 digits long.

International Senders

N/A

If you have a compelling reason to send messages to the UK from a non-UK number, such as a +33 French number, please contact us. We may be able to grant an exception to allow this.


Special characters

Only a limited set of special characters are allowed in Sender IDs:

Character

Description

.

Full stop

-

Dash

(space)

Space

&

Ampersand

If your brand has a unique character that is not typically allowed (for example, "LV=" is the brand for Liverpool Victoria insurance), then an exemption may be granted, allowing you to send messages using that specific character, such as "LV=".


Banned generic words

Since September 2023, the words Alert, Info, and Verify have been banned from being used as a Sender ID. From 31st October 2023, the list of banned words expands to include 121 words that can’t be used.

Clarifications for banned words

Taking the banned word Bank as an example:

  • Variations used like B A N K or B4NK are also banned. There are no known exceptions allowed for this.

  • Currently, if there is a wildcard, for example AB Bank or Banks — anything other than the specific word Bank, however obfuscated — these are allowed for the moment.

    Additional example
    The word Pinford indicating a school name is allowable despite including info.

Full list of banned generic sender IDs

1TimePin

Collect

Notify

Security

2FA

Collection

OneTimePin

Service

Accept

Confirm

Order

Shipping

Access

Contact

OTP

Sign

Account

Control

OTPSMS

Signin

Active

Courier

Package

Signon

Admin

Delay

Parcel

SMS

Advise

Deliver

Pay

SMSAuth

Alert

Delivery

Payment

SMSCode

Allow

Discount

Phone Code

SMSInfo

Allowance

Energy

PhoneCode

SMSOTP

App

Fraud

Pin

SMSVerify

Appointment

Help

PinCode

Support

Approve

Info

Post

System

Approved

InfoSMS

Protocol

Text

Auth

ISA

Purchase

Trace

AuthMsg

Key

Ratify

Track

Authorise

Loan

Rebate

Tracking

AuthSMS

Login

Receipt

Trust

Aware

Logistics

Refund

TXT

Bank

LogMein

Reminder

Update

Banking

Logon

Repayment

Updates

Bill

Malware

Reply

Validate

Billing

Message

Respond

VeifySMS

Call

Mobile

Save

Verify

Card

Mortgage

Saving

VerifyMe

Caution

MSG

Savings

Virus

Certify

MsgAuth

Scam

Warn

Check

Network

Schedule

Warning

CloudOTP

NoReply

Secure

Winner

Code

⚠️ Make sure that your Sender IDs comply with these restrictions. Failure to adhere to these guidelines may result in non-compliance and non-delivery.

If you believe you have a good business reason to send SMS from a Sender ID that would not be allowed based on the above, then contact us to discuss this further.


Brands

From October 31st 2023, messaging from brands considered by EE to belong to one of these protected industry sector groups:

  • Banking/Finance/FinTech

  • Government and Healthcare

  • Delivery and Logistics

  • Mobile Network Operators/ Miscellaneous

will be considered more likely to be fraudulent.

Therefore, SMS traffic sent through Dotdigital that belongs to one of the above groups, and is either:

OR

  • A regional brand such as a local council

will be placed on a trusted route. Traffic sent down a standard route from one of these groups is highly likely to be stopped.

If you are concerned that you send, or will need to send, from a known brand in one of the affected groups, contact your Customer Success representative to discuss.

Affected known brands

Banking, Finance and FinTech

Government and Healthcare

Delivery and Logistics

Mobile Network Operators/Misc

Bank of Ireland

Cabinet Office

ArrowXL

Android

Barclays

CCS

CitySprint

Apple

CAF Bank

DEFRA

DHL

BT

Capital One

Department for Business Energy

DPD

EE

ClearPay

Department of Health and Social Care

DX Delivery

GiffGaff

Clydesdale Bank

Department of Transport

Evri

Google

Coventry Building Society

Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency

FedEx

ID Mobile

Curve

DVLA

InPost

Lebara

Danske Bank

DWP

Panther Logistics

Lyca Mobile

Hoares Bank

Education and Skills Funding Agency

Parcel2Go

Meta (Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram)

HSBC

Financial Conduct Authority

Parcelforce

Plusnet

JP Morgan

GDS

Post Office

Sky

Klarna

HMRC

Royal Mail

Tesco Mobile

Lloyds Banking Group

Local Councils

TNT

Three

Metro Bank

Ministry of Defense

UPS

TikTok

Monzo

Ministy of Justice

UKMail

SMARTY

Nationwide

National Highways

Yodel

VirginMedia O2

NatWest

NCA

Vodafone

PayPal

NHS Trusts

VOXI

Revolut

OFGEM

Sainsburys Bank

ONS

Santander

Police Force

Starling Bank

Prisons and Probation Services

Tesco Bank

Student Loans Company

Tide

TFL

TSB

TV Licensing

Vanquis Bank


Local councils

Councils are restricted senders. There are a huge number of councils and the ways they may choose to have their name represented in an 11 character Sender ID are too numerous to list here, but if you are a council or are sending on behalf of one, you should contact us.

We require a Letter of Authority from the council on a letterhead, specifying that you — or if direct, we — can use a certain center. For example, the London Borough of Lambeth have registered LBLambeth, so SMS from this Sender ID can be routed down our trusted route.

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