What is Verified SMS?

First, let’s start with the definition of SMS. SMS stands for Short Message Service and is the most widely used type of text messaging. Obviously, we all text message our friends and families all day long. Most recently, companies, like yours, have jumped into the SMS/text messaging pool to communicate with consumers. It is a great way and a much more convenient method for consumers to communicate with your business than having to make a phone call or send an email.

SMS text messages are a highly engaging and effective way to communicate with your customers because 98% of messages read within 5 minutes. Whether it is 2-way conversations about purchasing a product, completing a loan application, getting technical support, or receiving order notifications, SMS is a great way to get the message delivered.

But SMS isn’t perfect – spoofing can be a concern since messages are not branded with your company’s identity. Because the sender is identified by just a phone number, it’s not easy for your customers to verify whether the message they just received was truly sent by you. Verified SMS makes SMS more friendly for business text messages received on Android by displaying your brand and authenticating that the message was sent by you.

Verified SMS by Google

A typical SMS message – no branding or sender verification

What does Verified SMS (VSMS) look like?

When you send an SMS message with Quiq to the latest Android devices, your customers will see your brand name and be assured that the message was sent from your company. This happens automatically thanks Quiq and the Verified SMS service  by Google. With Quiq and Verified SMS, your messages will appear on Android with your company’s brand at the top of the Messages app and your logo alongside the message, verifying that this message originated from your company.

The same SMS message delivered with Verified SMS

Verified SMS is available from Quiq now and works on Android devices running the latest Messages app on all mobile providers.

For those wondering if this means that Google will now be now be reading all of your text messages, the answer is an emphatic “no!” Please continue reading to get the inside scoop on how Verified SMS works.

How does Verified SMS (VSMS) actually work?

When Quiq sends a VSMS message, we still send the message across the phone carriers just like an unverified SMS message. But, with VSMS, we also send an authentication key (1-way hash) to Google that is used by the Android Messages app to verify the message. The authentication key is generated based upon your company’s sender identity, the message text, and the message recipient’s phone number. When the message is received, the Messages app generates the same authentication key and verifies the key with Google. Since the authentication key is a 1-way hash, Google doesn’t have information about the contents of the message or who it was sent to.

Here’s the process for VSMS:

  1. When sending a SMS message in Quiq, first we generate an authentication key and pass this to Google. Since the authentication key is a 1-way hash, Google doesn’t know anything about the contents or recipients of the message. Quiq doesn’t know what type of device will be receiving the message so we do this for all SMS messages.
  2. We send the text message across the mobile carriers (just like any other SMS message).
  3. When the Android Messages app receives the message, it computes its own version of the authentication key and sends this to Google to verify the message’s authenticity and sender.

What else should I know about Verified SMS (VSMS)?

Currently, there are a couple of limitations of Verified SMS. VSMS is not supported on Apple iOS devices. No word on whether Apple may support VSMS in the future. VSMS works for SMS messages, but unfortunately, does not work for MMS messages, so if you send images or video, those messages will appear as unverified in the transcript in the Messages app.

How do I learn more?

If you’re a Quiq customer (or would like to become a customer!), please contact us to get Verified SMS setup. This feature is included at no additional charge in our standard SMS conversation pricing.

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