Kenya: Safaricom Set to Switch off Inactive SMS Short Codes

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Safaricom is Monday set to disconnect 58 inactive SMS shortcodes held by various institutions in a clean-up meant to eliminate dormant accounts.

In a statement sent to partner institutions, Safaricom says it will deactivate all shortcodes that have remained dormant for more than three months. Shortcodes also referred to as Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) is typed on mobile phones for trigger a specific action. Specific shortcodes are, for instance, used by bank customers to check account balance, transfer or withdraw cash.

“This is part of an exercise that we undertake at Safaricom from time to time as part of our efforts to clean up our records. It is also beneficial to the partners because they are able to save the monthly fees associated with the dormant shortcodes. If the partner decides to activate their shortcode in future they are free to do so at no extra cost,” Safaricom Acting Director, Consumer Business, Charles Kare said. Safaricom said the clean- up was aimed at improving its service delivery and foster stronger relationships.

“We are required from time to time to run a cleanup exercise on our existing records more specifically shortcode entries based on their activity levels. This is as a result of an analysis we run indicating we have a number of shortcodes accruing monthly rental fees without acting on them.”

The telco also notified its clients that it was now a requirement for it to update Communications Authority on all existing and new shortcode allocations done.

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