Original Page to the Canadian Telecommunications Association A2P Messaging Compliance Documents
Attached PDF is the Canadian A2P Messaging Best Practices available here
v1.0 August 2023
We've reprinted sections 1.1 and 2.2 below as a quick summary.
1.1 Key Takeaways
The following are best practices and recommended standards for A2P messaging programs in Canada:
- All programs should be consent-based before any messages are sent. Sending unsolicited messages or spam should be strictly avoided.
- All programs should provide an opt-out mechanism using STOP/ARRET. Examples of other opt-out commands that should be respected include CANCEL, UNSUBSCRIBE, QUIT, and END.
- Programs should not use deceptive or misleading promotion/advertising to gain participation.
- All messages sent to an end user should accurately identify the A2P number and the brand/organization from which the message was send (or sent on behalf of).
- All programs should send responses to the following five mandatory keywords:
- HELP: Identify the message sender or program name, customer support information, price, and opt-out information. Texting HELP should return an English response.
- AIDE: Identify the message sender or program name, customer support information, price, and opt-out information. Texting AIDE should return a French response.
- INFO: Identify the message sender or program name and customer support information. Texting INFO should return a Bilingual response.
- STOP: Immediately opt the user out of receiving any further messages. Texting STOP should return an English response.
- ARRET: Immediately opt the user out of receiving any further messages. Texting ARRET should return a French response.
- Due to their administrative nature, mandatory keywords should not exceed a single message segment or 160 characters, whichever is shorter.
- End users should be informed of the cost of participating in an A2P program (e.g., “std msg
rates may apply”). In cases where the end user receives a mobile terminating (MT)
message containing a clickable link to a website, the content of the message containing
the link should state that “data rates may apply.” (Stating “std msg & data rates may
apply” is equally appropriate.)
- If programs involve time-sensitive information (e.g., news, stocks, event, or sports score
updates) or urgent/critical communications, produced timestamps should be included in
- An urgent/critical communications program should not be advertised or promoted using
the word “emergency”.
- Programs involving age-restricted content such as alcohol, tobacco, cannabis, gambling, or
other mature content (e.g., nudity) should verify that each user is of legal age in their
province or territory before participating in the program.
- Programs should not send content related to hate speech, profanity, depictions and
endorsements of violence, or any unlawful content.
- To protect the integrity of the channel, it is recommended that A2P messages not exceed
320 characters or two message-segments, whichever is shorter.
2.2 Types of A2P programs
All A2P programs fit into a program category and can be further classified by a specific use case. The following categories are based on intended use, frequency, or ratio of interactions, and consent types to be expected.