Singapore Implements Mandatory SMS Sender ID Registration


The Info-communications Media Development Authority of Singapore (IMDA) has announced mandatory Sender ID registration with effect from January 31, 2023.

A Sender ID is typically an alphanumeric identifier like “XGATE” instead of the mobile number of the sender appearing on mobile messages. It is an identity for recipients to recognise the brand or company when they send mobile messages and it’s a good for branding purposes.

Any companies that wish to use alphanumeric Sender IDs when sending mobile messages will need to register with the Singapore SMS Sender ID Registry (SSIR) to obtain a registered Sender ID starting January 31, 2023.  Non-registered SMS Sender IDs will be labelled with a “Likely-SCAM” header.

XGATE is registered with IMDA to be an authorised SMS aggregator in Singapore (listed in SMS Registry). This means we are authorised to help companies send mobile messages with alphanumeric header when they have obtained their registered Sender IDs.  Since SMS is an effective channel for marketers to reach their customers, this article aim to provide more information about the mandatory Sender IDs requirements in Singapore and registration process.

Why is Sender ID registration required?

Singapore IMDA first implemented Sender ID registration in March 2022 on a voluntary basis and resulted in 64% reduction in fraudulent and malicious SMS activity. Incidentally, brands that value good customer relationship also appreciate the importance for recipients of SMS messages to trust the Sender ID that is contacting them.

While mobile operators are responsible to block fraudulent SMS messages reaching their customers, they require systems in place to identify and prevent those abuse. Hence, registering Sender IDs will help mobile operators trace abuse more effectively to specific SMS senders. With a registered Sender ID, your messages bypass filters that can block unregistered traffic in mobile operators’ network and systems. This not only improves SMS deliverability rates, but also helps earn trust, because the recipients recognise the Sender ID.

What’s the process for Sender ID registration in Singapore?

If you plan to send mobile messages in Singapore using alphanumeric Sender ID, you’ll need to follow the following steps.

  1. Create an account & register for a Sender ID with Singapore SMS registry (portal link).
  2. Once your SMS Sender ID is approved (there will be an email confirmation), you may share the confirmation and Sender ID with your account manager or Support at XGATE. We will then proceed to set up your registered Sender ID in our SMS platform.

Before we implement the Sender ID for SMS broadcast or SMS API sending, we’ll perform a UAT to ensure the registered Sender ID is working properly. The completion time for business and Sender ID registrations varies; and cannot be expedited with the local regulators. Therefore, it is best you start your registration process early so that you can begin using Sender ID for your SMS messages and marketing campaigns.

How to register for your Sender ID via the SMS registry portal?

Before you begin, you should get ready the following information as they will be required to complete your Sender ID application.

  1. Point of contact person
  2. Company billing information
  3. Billing address
  4. Singapore company business registration number – Unique Entity Number (UEN)

We have prepared a document with step by step screen shots and instructions to help you with your Singapore Sender ID registration. Please download the user guide and use as reference when you log in to the SMS registry portal.

Download user guide: link

We recommend that you provide all the requested information in the Sender ID registration form. After submission, you will receive an email notification informing you of the approval status. Alternatively, you can also log in to the portal to check on your application status. If there are additional information required by the SSIR, you should address them to avoid any delay in submitting your Sender ID request.

Upon receiving the approval of your Sender ID application, share the confirmation email and Sender ID with the account manager or Support at XGATE. We will then proceed to set up your registered Sender ID in our SMS platform. Now, you’re all set to launch your SMS notifications and broadcast campaigns.

Overseas companies interested to send SMS in Singapore using Sender ID

If you’re a foreign company without a business registration in Singapore, you can still send SMS with Sender ID. Simply register your business first before you can apply for a Sender ID with SSIR. There are many companies that provide business registration services for foreign companies in Singapore. For example, Venture Haven (website).

Below is the incorporation process and estimated timeline for business registration:

  1. Agency to give client details required for Singapore company registration. E.g. Company name, address, telephone etc. (2 working days)
  2. Client to revert with information to draft incorp forms (1 working day upon receiving full details)
  3. Client to sign and make payment to lodge the incorporation on ACRA (1 working day upon receiving signed forms and payment). Incorporation on ACRA is instant.
  4. Bank account opening (2 to 3 weeks processing upon submitting all documents to the bank)

Applicants will need to pay around S$315 governmental fees for company registration. The fees are for name checking and application. Foreigners are required to hire a certified agency to help with the application. Under Singapore’s law, all registered companies will need a Corporate Secretary. You also need to hire a local director and have a registered Singapore address. Once you have a company, you will also need to submit accounting & tax reports to the government. Your Corporate Secretary will help you liaise with the relevant personnel so these reports can be filed.

Once you have a successfully registered your business in Singapore, you can simply follow the same steps to apply for a Sender ID in the SMS registry portal.

Adopt best practices for a good SMS marketing foundation

Build your list, ask for permission and personalised your message

SMS marketing is one of the best and most reliable ways for large and small organizations to connect with their customers in a personal way. The use of SMS for notifications, marketing campaigns and two-way authentication are on the rise. And there are good reasons for that – it works when done right.

Brands need to follow SMS best practices such as building your own list, ask for permission to send messages, personalised the content; and identify your brand with the Sender ID. Indeed, successful brands using SMS can typically reach 95% of users on their mobile devices. It all starts with the technology behind the message. This means you need to work with an experienced and innovative SMS gateway provider that can support all your mobile marketing requirements with different levels of marketing technology sophistication.

Sender IDs are a great tool for building brand awareness and trust for your customers receiving your SMS notifications or marketing messages. You can learn more about other digital services that can also help you with your communications or solutions that will generate more sales for your business from our Digital Marketing Services (DMS Suite).

The information provided in this article is accurate as at Jan 30, 2023.

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