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Grey routes are hobbling consumer trust

Fraud and security
A black and white image of a business man on a phone by a scuplture
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Of equal, if not more, importance is the effect that grey routes have on brand reputation and consumer trust. Perhaps you’ve been woken up by your phone beeping an alert at three in the morning offering you a 2 for 1 deal on a pizza?  

Typically messages that are offered to enterprises via a grey route are cheap but lack any important KPIs like timing and speed of delivery (if delivered at all). That’s a real customer service problem when it comes to notification SMS for a parcel delivery or two-factor authentication for access to banking information that customers typically need almost instantly.  

So, whilst brands may be lured by below market value prices for messaging, it’s also true that the reason they chose messaging in the first place – instant, reliable contact with consumers for an array of customer service requirements – doesn’t come with a guarantee.  

However, the problem has the potential to become amplified over time. As an increasing number of mobile carriers shore up their networks with firewalls, so actors will increasingly probe new, more sinister areas of fraud, such as SMS intercept, which attacks the SS7 signalling network and exposes mobile customers to phishing activities while making security messages vulnerable to interception.  

Consumer trust is vital, yet increasingly in short supply.   Here are three things that every enterprise should know about how grey routes affect trust in A2P messaging:

  1. MEF research shows that when communicating with companies, consumers trust SMS above any other channel (including email and OTT messaging). Two-factor authentication SMS traffic accounted for 18% of total annual traffic.
  2. Two-factor authentication SMS traffic accounted for 18% of total annual traffic in 2017. That’s nearly 300 billion messages (Mobilesquared). Grey route operators will cost messaging providers and mobile carriers.
  3. Grey route operators will cost messaging providers and mobile carriers $36.52 billion (by the end of 2022). Next generation firewalls are helping to plug this leakage but the installation cycle takes time (Mobilesquared).

Our latest eBook – A2P Messaging – The Business of Communication – takes a deep dive on the importance of nourishing consumer trust and includes articles from key industry players, case studies and interviews with enterprises that successfully use messaging as a primary consumer touch-point.  

Download the free eBook here.

First published by CLX Communications.