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TRAI Hosts High-Level Meeting to Enhance Financial Sector Communication and Combat Fraud

New Delhi: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) convened a significant meeting today, bringing together key representatives from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI), and over 25 major banks and financial institutions. Participants included government, private, and global banks, Members of the Association of National Exchanges Members of India (ANMI), and all telecom service providers.

The meeting focused on several pivotal topics aimed at enhancing communication protocols and reducing fraud in the financial sector. Key deliberations included:

1. Allocation of 160 Series for Transactional Calls:
TRAI recommended the exclusive allocation of the 160 series for making transactional and service voice calls. Initially, this allocation is targeted at entities regulated by RBI, SEBI, IRDAI, and PFRDA. This measure aims to facilitate easy identification of legitimate calling entities and prevent fraudsters from duping innocent citizens. The meeting fostered a productive exchange of ideas on effectively utilizing this series, emphasizing the importance of safeguarding consumers from fraudulent activities.

2. Migration of 140 Series and Digital Consent Scrubbing:
Discussions also highlighted the ongoing migration of the 140 series, currently used for promotional purposes, to the Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) platform. Additionally, the operationalization of digital consent scrubbing was addressed. These initiatives are expected to significantly curb spam calls from 10-digit numbers, enhancing consumer protection.

3. Digital Consent Acquisition (DCA) Facility:
The DCA facility, established by Telecom Service Providers under TRAI’s TCCCPR-2018 Regulations, was examined in detail. This facility allows the digital acquisition of customer consent, enabling banks, insurance companies, and other entities to send promotional communications via SMS and voice, regardless of customers’ Do Not Disturb (DND) status.

4. Sender Obligations and Content Regulation:
The meeting also reviewed the roles and obligations of senders, such as banks and insurance companies, in compliance with TRAI regulations. Key points included whitelisting URLs/Apks in content templates, using a minimal number of headers and content templates, and taking immediate action against entities misusing sender credentials.

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