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Reverse Billing

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What is SMS reverse billing

SMS reverse billing is a form of ‘microbilling’ based around SMS text messaging. It allows small transactions to be conveniently made by sending an SMS text message from a specific shortcode. This form of billing is called 'mobile terminated billing' or MT and results in a charge appearing on the recipients next mobile bill, with the fee being charged by the network operator to their customer. The operator of the shortcode will then receive a proportion of the amount which has been charged for the message by the network operator.

Applications for reverse billing

SMS reverse billing has traditionally been used as a convenient way to pay for information services and competition entries. Reverse billing is now becoming a viable alternative to credit cards when dealing with low value transactions allowing for automated payment systems which can be integrated into a website or be operated in a completely remote location. As charges are made based on the messages received (mobile terminated messages) this process can be initiated by the end user texting a keyword on the shortcode, which then responds with an MT message resulting in the charge at the agreed rate.

Practical issues & setting up a shortcode

We offer dedicated 5 digit short codes across all four UK networks at rates of either; 25p, 50p, £1, £1.50p or standard rate charge. We can setup short codes in two ways: Via our aql® interface, where you can make use of our usual facilities such as keyword management, reports and message history. Alternatively keywords on you short code can HTTP post directly to a URL on your own server (1 URL per keyword).

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