Compliance update on clarity of information provided via text message following mobile number entry into online promotions

16 January 2017

The Phone-paid Services Authority (PSA) today publishes a compliance update to clarify the requirement for pricing and other key information in text messages sent to a consumer’s mobile phone following the mobile number being entered into a website.

Following discussion with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), the compliance update outlines the PSA’s expectations on the inclusion of pricing and other key information. This update comes after recent discussions with providers concerning the application of the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR) for text messages sent to consumers following the entry of their details into a website.

Update (06 February 2017):
Following publication we received some feedback from industry who suggested the exact scope of how this update applied was unclear, in particular whether it was necessary to provide pricing information in any text message used to verify a purchase, or just where the consumer would not have seen pricing on a website before such a text was sent.  For the avoidance of doubt we have made the following amendment to the ‘Next Steps’ section of the notice, with the addition italicized:

Next Steps
We strongly recommend that providers of phone-paid services that send text messages to consumers for them to confirm purchases following entry of a number into a website which does not contain pricing and other relevant information, ensure the following information is included in their text messages:

• the context for which the message has been sent
• clear pricing information
• the name of the provider operating the service and contact details
• any other key factual information that is likely to influence the consumer’s decision to complete the transaction.

Read the compliance update here.