There is a good chance you have used a shortcode at some point when communicated by SMS with a business organization, whether it be in the financial services, retail, travel, or transportation industry.

Unfortunately, as cybersecurity needs evolve, tools like shortcode are becoming increasingly obsolete.

What is Shortcode? An Overview

Shortcode is a set of abbreviated numbers that are essentially codes that address customers who are compiled in MMS and SMS databases. In the United States, these numbers are usually in the 5-6 digit range, which makes them easier for customers to remember. And while they might look the same on the customer end, each code is unique between the organization using it and the operator on the other end.

What’s Wrong With Shortcode

Shortcode numbers were designed to make things easier, and in theory, they do. However, the organization of shortcodes on wireless networks has made the system less-than-satisfactory. Here are some of the main reasons why shortcodes cause issues:

  • Much higher costs: Shortcode MMS and SMS can be billed at a higher rate by phone companies.
  • One shortcode, many companies: Most shortcodes are not specific to a single brand, like a phone number. It is possible for multiple companies to have the same shortcodes, which can lead to complications and unhappy customers.
  • Not customer or business-friendly: When a shortcode violation happens on the shortcode itself, instead of suspending the offending brand, most will suspend the code itself.

An Easy Solution

There are business-specific shortcodes called designated shortcodes. These cost much more to maintain, which is why they are often not used by businesses.

For financial institutions who want a mobile text messaging option without the hassle or cost of shortcodes, working with a reputable text messaging platform can often be the best solution. When evaluating, it is important to do your due diligence by creating a vendor checklist and making sure the platform is  TCPA compliant. For more information on the services provided by Shastic, click here.