The Evolving Landscape of CPaaS in A2P Messaging: Navigating Challenges and Seizing Opportunities

There are a new wave of emerging challenges for CPaaS, aggregators and anyone involved in the handling of A2P messages. Increasing regulatory and carrier code of conduct compliance obligations, the rising cost of SMS that creates a catalyst for new types of fraud, and the evolving sophistication of phishing and attack tactics all threaten the CPaaS A2P model. This article will look at some of these challenges in more detail.

Learn more about the Enea Adaptive Messaging Firewall for CPaaS.

Compliance and regulatory challenges

In the realm of  A2P messaging, regulatory compliance presents a complex challenge. Providers must navigate a labyrinth of constantly expanding and evolving national regulations, as well as carriers own codes of conduct that govern what, when and how messages are delivered to subscribers. These regulations can vary significantly, often imposing restrictions based on attributes that have previously not been within the scope of insight or control of the handling parties such as nature of content, sending identity and call to action attributes. For example, in some countries like France, there are specific rules prohibiting the sending of marketing messages outside of business hours. Such regulations are designed to protect consumers from unwanted communications, but they also create a challenging landscape for CPaaS providers who typically would not have previously had a view of the nature of the message (promotional or otherwise).

The complexity of compliance is further complicated when CPaaS providers and Aggregators aim to maximize their reach across various networks and territories. Each new market entered brings its own set of regulatory hurdles.

In addition to national regulations, mobile operators may impose their own codes of conduct on entities sending messages into their networks, based upon feedback from their subscribers on what they consider to be clear and concise communication vs. the range of spam and Phishing messages that they are faced with. Non-compliance with these operator-specific rules can lead to severe consequences, including the risk of disconnection from the network. This not only disrupts service delivery but can also have a significant impact on customer experience and revenue streams.

The rising cost of SMS

The increasing cost of SMS messaging is another considerable challenge for CPaaS providers and aggregators. For CPaaS providers, this means finding a delicate balance between cost-efficiency and delivering high-quality service to their clients. They need to optimize their operations  ensuring that route selection is based upon the best intelligence available to them for that messsage (not just the price point of the destination network), all while ensuring that the rising costs do not adversely affect their clients or the end-users.

The route selection algorithms of an aggregators business are a critical business function, and Enea’s AI based categorisation capabilities can aide these algorithms with real-time per message based contextual intelligence. This enables the time / quality optimal selection of the cheapest working route for that category of message.

The increasing cost does not just bring operational cost routing challenges, but also increases the risk of new types of fraud. The A2P ecosystem is being heavily abused with Artificially Inflated Traffic (AIT) tactics. AIT refers to the practice of artificially increasing the volume of traffic, for monetary or reputational gain. The revenue loss due to AIT is currently assessed to be hitting $1.16 Billion in 2023.

Security challenges in A2P messaging

The cybersecurity landscape is fraught with risks, particularly when it comes to A2P messaging, where impersonation is rife, anyone is reachable at scale and the scope of financial gain for successful attacks continues to grow. Technologies such as generative AI are paving the way for more sophisticated fraud and phishing attacks, and pose a weighty challenge for CPaaS providers who need to ensure the legitimacy and security of their traffic.

Being viewed as a source of malicious traffic can have serious repercussions for CPaaS providers. As mentioned previously mobile operators will penalise and can disconnect their networks. The impact is also felt throughout the chain from CPaaS provider to customer to the customer’s customer. For a brand using a CPaaS provider, customers and their data is paramount, and any associated risks can lead to a loss of trust, reputational damage and in some incidences –  legal consequences. This is why it is so important for CPaaS providers to have solutions in place that not only  meet regulatory  & code of conduct compliance, but also control and detect threats to ensure subscribers are receiving only legitimate messages.

As CPaaS providers continue to navigate the intricate landscape of A2P messaging, their journey is not just about overcoming current challenges but also about shaping a resilient future for digital communications as a whole. The balance between regulatory compliance, managing SMS costs, and ensuring robust security is a dynamic and ongoing process, reflecting the ever-evolving nature of technology and user needs. This journey raises a pivotal question: How will CPaaS providers innovate to not only meet these challenges but also defend against frauds and threats to their business,  their customers, and their customer’s customer – that change  quickly and unpredictably in order to exploit any slow response.

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