Verified SMS

What is verified SMS?

What is verified SMS?

Verified SMS is no more! It is an ex service.
Google’s verified SMS became a very short lived SMS project.
From October 2022 they are no longer supporting it and all verified SMS traffic will revert to RCS.
RIP verified SMS. December 2019 – October 2022

Carry on reading to learn what verified SMS was!

Not much changes in the world of SMS! It’s been the same old plain text, 160 characters for the past 25 years or so.

Despite the emergence of new messaging platforms like Whatsapp and RCS messaging , 96% of business messaging spend in 2023 will still be on SMS. (Mobile squared)

As Jo Lane of research company Mobile squared said:

“SMS still smashes all other channels out of the park.”

But verified SMS does at least represent a small change and potential improvement that can increase the security of SMS, although there are some rather obvious limitations, which we’ll come to later.

What is verified SMS?

Verified SMS is a new service available to users of Google’s native message app.

Verified SMS, (sometimes referred to as VSMS) is a way that a business can let its customers know that the messages they send are from a genuine authentic business and can be trusted.

There are a few bells and whistles too. Businesses can add their logo to their messages, along with a verification badge that verifies who they are. Any links can also be previewed before clicking.

verified vs standard SMS

Note that VSMS is not turned on by default. Android users have to tick a setting on the Messages app to agree to receive them.

The idea behind verified SMS is to give customers added confidence that messages are secure and trustworthy. This additional trust should increase the response rate to SMS marketing campaigns.

Certainly the recent increase in sophisticated SMS spam attacks means that verified SMS could give many consumers added peace of mind.

Which countries offer verified SMS?

Verified SMS is only available in a few countries so far.
United Kingdom
United States

How does verified SMS work?

Seeing as verified SMS is a Google product, here is there description of how it works

Google’s description of how verified SMS works

‘Verified SMS works by verifying, on a per-message basis, that content is sent by a specific business. When a message is verified, users see the sender’s business name, the sender’s business logo, and a verification badge in the message thread.’

Does verified SMS use RCS?

Verified SMS uses the Rich Communication Services (RCS) protocol to transmit the service.
Verified SMS messages are essentially modified RCS messages.

Which companies offer verified SMS?

Providers of verified SMS tend to be the larger suppliers who are well suited to providing messaging services to Enterprise sized clients.
Here’s a selection of providers


Twilio Sinch
Messente Dexatel
Plivo Kaleyra
IMI Mobile Dexatiel

How much does it cost to send a verified SMS?

Pricing for verified SMS is a little hazy and trying to get an actual price from providers is harder than it should be.

As verified SMS uses RCS as the messaging platform, the cost is around the same as sending an RCS.

The typical price is in the $5 – 7 cents range or around 4.2 – 5.8 UK pence per verified text sent.
This is significantly more than sending a standard text which is around 3.2 pence per text.

Whether businesses will see enough additional value in the increased cost, remains to be seen.

Use cases for verified SMS

There are almost endless ways that verified SMS could be used instead of traditional SMS. Here are a few of the more obvious examples.

Avoid being mistaken for a fraudulent notifications and alert
SMS scams are becoming more sophisticated and it’s becoming harder to identify fraudulent texts.

Using verified SMS could be an effective way of giving peace of mind that a text is from a genuine source.

2FA for transactions or account access
SMS is one of the most common ways that companies use to send codes for purchases or account access.

SMS is not encrypted, so there are some concerns that SMS could be used by hackers to illegally access accounts.

Verified SMS, while not encrypted, at least provides the reassurance that the text has originated from a genuine source.

Order Confirmation
Sending an order confirmation by verified SMS could be a way to give customers additional peace of mind that the order has been correctly received.

Account statements
As we become more mobile, banks and financial services companies communicate increasingly by text. For sending statements or other alerts, verified SMS could give customers the reassurance that the texts are genuine.

What is the process for getting started with verified SMS?

There is quite an involved registration process to undertake before an organisation qualifies for sending verified SMS.

Stage one is to contact one of Google’s verified SMS partners.

The VSMS provider will then work with you on your application which involves providing a business profile and use cases of all the verified SMS that you intend to send.

Google then contacts you directly to let you know that the registration process is complete.

Do you get a higher response rate with verified SMS?

The simple answer is that we don’t know. No companies have yet released any studies showing how using verified SMS has improved their read or response rates.

Common sense suggests that there should be an improvement, we just don’t have the evidence.

Verified SMS might be solving a problem that we actually don’t really have!

Will verified SMS become the normal way to send SMS?

It seems unlikely.
Verified SMS suffers from the same catalogue of problems that plagues RCS messaging. Iphone users can’t receive verified SMS and it’s very unlikely that Apple will ever allow them onto their platform.

Pricing is vague and high. Will businesses see enough value in verified SMS to go through the hassle of implementing it, particularly as iPhone users will be left with plain SMS?

Awareness of verified SMS is almost non-existent. There is a huge education process that needs to happen to enable consumers to see the value in it.

It could backfire horribly. People are used to and are comfortable with SMS. We understand its limitations and its clunkiness. If banks and fintech companies start sending us different types of messages that we’re not familiar with, we might get suspicious.

The jury is most definitely out as to whether VSMS will take off or be useful in any way. At The SMS Works, we have our doubts.

Related articles

RCS Messaging – Ever heard of it? Thought not. Read why this messaging channel is totally failing.

Transactional SMS – How is that different to a normal business SMS.

Is SMS encrypted? This may surprise you.

author avatar
Henry Cazalet Managing Director
Co-founder and Director of The SMS Works, a low cost and powerful SMS API for developers. About Henry