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Top tech, aviation firms seek DoT service call numbers

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In Short:

Tech giants like Microsoft, Google, Amazon, airlines like Indigo and Air India may apply for 160-series numbers to make transactional and service calls, aiming to protect customers from fraud. Government notifications ensure regulated financial and government bodies use specific numbers. Global organizations need to prove Indian call origin or use virtual numbers. New 160 series aims to differentiate legitimate service calls from spam and fraud, benefiting financial institutions and customers.


Tech Giants and Airlines Likely to Apply for Telecom Department’s New Provision

Several tech giants including Microsoft, Google, Amazon, Meta, and airlines such as Indigo and Air India are expected to apply for the telecom department’s new provision to acquire 160-series numbers for making transactional and service calls, as per communications executives and experts.

A senior government official involved in the subject mentioned, “Our primary goal is to allocate transactional series numbers to regulated financial institutions such as banks, insurance companies, and payment services, as well as public service government bodies like UIDAI. This is crucial for customer protection to reduce frauds and ensure critical transactions are concluded without any failures.”

Despite reaching out to these organizations for comment, there has been no response.

Department of Telecommunications Allocates 160 Numbering Series

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) recently allocated 160 numbering series for transactional and service calls made by businesses for commercial purposes. This step aims to protect mobile phone users from pesky calls and messages, reducing instances of financial fraud.

All central and state government entities will use 10-digit telephone numbers in the format of 1600ABCXXX, while financial entities regulated by RBI, SEBI, IRDAI, and PFRDA will use 1601ABCXXX. However, other organizations need to apply to Trai for approval.

For global organizations, it is essential to identify the source of business calls to ensure compliance with Trai norms.

Impact on Financial Institutions and Caller Identification

The allocation of 160 numbering series will benefit financial institutions, enabling them to alert customers about various use cases without being mistaken for spam calls. This will also prevent subscribers from falling victim to fraudsters impersonating bank representatives.

Experts believe that DoT’s implementation of calling name presentation (CNAP) service will play a significant role in identifying callers accurately.

Overall, the new provision is aimed at enhancing customer protection, reducing fraud, and ensuring smoother transactional and service calls for organizations across different sectors.

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