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What is a short code and how does it work?
What is a short code and how does it work?

Describes the attributes of a short code.

Written by Pauline Ndegwa
Updated over a week ago

A short code is a five digit number that is used for two-way SMS. Two-way SMS allows the recipient of the message to reply.

This means it's very interactive and can be used to generate revenue

How a short code works is defined by the service you will offer.Please see below.

  1. Zero rated: Free for the end user to send and receive messages from the short code.

  2. Standard Rated: They are just like long form numbers. Sending a message incurs the same network charges as a long form number, while receiving SMSes is free to both the sender and receiver.

  3. Premium Rated: Code owner generates revenue either from SMSes sent to your code, or by charging users for sending SMSes to their phone numbers.
    The revenue is calculated on the basis of the cost to the user. This allows you to receive payments or contributions over SMS.

Types of short codes

1. Shared short code

One code used by different Organizations, each having a unique keyword to differentiate messages sent.ย 

2. Dedicated short code

Solely used by an organization, the code owner can raise unlimited keywords on the dedicated code for free.

The Codes range from 20XXX - 22XXX and 40XXX.

For any further clarification send an email to

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