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Move to blockchain-based SMS verification delayed after OTP services go down in India: Report

Many were unable to receive OTPs from their banks on Monday

blockchain-tech-shutterstock Representational Image | Shutterstock

If you tried to make a bank transaction online in the past few you days, you may have had trouble receiving the one time password sent by your bank. If so, you were not alone: Banks have been flooded with complaints from users saying they were not getting the OTPs needed to do everything from pay for goods online to transfer money to friends and family to even Aadhaar-based authentication.

According to an ET report, up to 40 per cent of the daily average commercial SMS traffic was disrupted by Monday evening.

The reason is reportedly the new SMS regulations aimed at reducing the menace of spam and fraudulent messages, which rely on a blockchain-based solution to “scrub” messages before they reach your devices. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India had in its regulations on unsolicited commercial communications (released in 2018) ordered telcos to very each SMS with a registered text before delivery. The blockchain method, using Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), would check the sender details and contents of each message, and would block SMSes from unregistered sender ids.

However, hitches in the system, which was implemented on Monday, led to the TRAI suspending its implementation for seven days according to an Economic Times Telecom report.

The problem stems from failure to register sender IDs and content on the blockchain. Everyone from companies to banks, payment companies, government agencies and telemarketers is required to register themselves with telecom operators as well as their messaging templates in order to send messages to customers.

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