Upcoming BT/EE sender restrictions from 10 July 2023

BT/EE have introduced  a series of new controls and restrictions aimed at protecting businesses and customers by reducing the likelihood of messaging scams and fraud.

These rules apply, whether you are sending SMS by using Email to SMS, our portal, our API or via an automation.

BT/EE changes relate to sender IDs, URLs, the use of special characters and short codes. 

The following are examples of what will be blocked:


Sender IDs – alpha numeric


Your message may be blocked if you use any of the generic words listed below in your sender ID, or a variation of them. 


1TimePin  Bank  Discount  NoReply  Repayment  SMSVerfiy
2FA  Banking  Energy  Notify  Reply  Support
Accept  Bill  Fraud  OneTimePin  Respond  System
Access  Billing  Help  Order  Save  Text
Account  Call  Info  OTP  Saving  Trace
Active  Card  InfoSMS  OTPSMS  Scam  Track
Admin  Caution  ISA  Package  Savings  Tracking
Advise  Certify  Key  Parcel  Schedule  Trust
Alert  Check  Loan  Pay  Secure  TXT
Allow  CloudOTP  Login  Payment  Security  Update
Allowance  Code  Logistics  Pin  Service  Updates
App  Collect  LogMeIn  PinCode  Shipping  Validate
Appointment  Collection  Logon  Post  Sign  Verify
Approve  Confirm  Malware  Protocol  Signin  VerifySMS
Approved  Contact  Message  Purchase  Signon  VerifyMe
Auth  Control  Mobile  Ratify  SMS  Virus
AuthMsg  Courier  Mortgage  Rebate  SMSAuth  Warn
Authorise  Delay  MSG  Receipt  SMSCode  Warning
AuthSMS  Deliver  MsgAuth  Refund  SMSInfo  Winner
Aware  Delivery  Network  Reminder  SMSOTP


Variations of the above words are also not permitted. For example – VERIFY. Using a variation such as those shown in the table below, may cause your message to be blocked.

VERIFY  Verify  V E R I F Y  V ERIFY  VE RIFY  VER IFY  .Verify.  -Verify-
_verify_  VERIF1Y  v.e.r.i.f.y  V_ERIFY  VERIF Y  VER IFY  Uerify  V3RIFY


BT/EE supported special characters

The majority of special characters are not permitted by BT/EE and, if used, your message may be blocked. This only applies to special characters used in your sender ID. It does not apply to any used in the body of your message.

This is a current list of special characters that are permitted:

A to Z (Upper case) . (Period)
A to Z (Lower case) (Dash)
0 to 9 (Numeric) _ (Underscore)
(Space) & (Ampersand)


Sender IDs – specific brands/organisations

There are a number of specific brand names and organisations, whose name you cannot use as part of your sender ID. If used, your message may be blocked. 

Examples include, but are not limited to, those listed in the table below.

If your name does appear in the list below, we will work with you and BTEE, to ensure you can continue to send messages, using the name of your brand/organisation. The same also applies if you are a reseller and send on behalf of one of the organisations below.

Finance, Banking and  Fintech Government and Healthcare Logistics and Parcel  Delivery Mobile Network  Operators/ Misc
Lloyds Banking Group  GDS  Royal Mail  BT
Santander  HMRC  DPD  EE
TSB  DWP  Yodel  Plusnet
Metro Bank  DVLA  TNT  VirginMedia O2
Monzo  Local Councils  Evri  Vodafone
Revolut  NHS Trusts  DX Delivery  Three
Tide  DEFRA  FedEx  Sky
Bank of Ireland  OFGEM  UPS  Lyca Mobile
Barclays  TV Licensing  DHL  Apple
Capital One  Ministry of Justice  Parcelforce  Google
Coventry Building  Society Cabinet Office  CitySprint  Android
Dankse Bank  Department of Health  and Social Care InPost  Meta (Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram)
Hoares Bank  Student Loans  


Parcel2Go  iD Mobile
HSBC  National Highways  UKMail  GiffGaff
JP Morgan  ONS  ArrowXL  Lebara
Nationwide  Ministry of Defense  Panther Logistics  SMARTY
NatWest  NCA  Post Office  Tesco Mobile
Sainsburys Bank  Department of  


Starling Bank  Driver and Vehicle  Standards Agency TikTok
Tesco Bank  Department for  

Business Energy

Amazon (Not  


Clydesdale Bank  Education and Skills  Funding Agency Snapchat
Curve  Financial Conduct  Authority  X, Formally  known as Twitter
CAF Bank  TFL  Bolt
Klarna  Prisons and Probation  Services Uber
ClearPay  CCS
Vanquis Bank  Police Force
Citi Bank


Sender IDs – numeric

Your message may be blocked if you are sending within, or to, the UK and use a numeric sender ID that does not begin with a UK dialling code. 

If you are sending to the UK from another country, you will need to purchase a UK virtual mobile number (VMN) to do so.

The permitted UK dialling code formats are:

For mobile numbers:

  • 447

For landline numbers:

  • 441
  • 442
  • 443
  • 448

The numeric sender ID does not need to include + prefix. If you wish to include it, its use will still be permitted.

If any of the following number formats are used, they will automatically be converted for you to the permitted format (447) listed above:

  • 07
  • 0044
  • 00447

If any of the following number formats are used, they will NOT be converted to any of the permitted formats listed above and will be blocked:

  • 0300
  • 0800

Short codes

Short codes that don’t follow the UK short code format (five digits starting with a 6, 7 or 8) will be blocked. Upon request, BT/EE approval can be given for 3 & 4 digit short codes and for short codes not starting with 6, 7 or 8 (e.g. for Irish companies that use start codes beginning with 5). 

If an exception is needed, please contact your account manager in the first instance.


BT/EE will block suspected spam or fraudulent URLs that are included in the body of your message, so please ensure that you format your URLs correctly. Occasionally, very new URLs may be blocked. 

What do I need to do next?

Even if you are happy that your current sender ID meets these rules, we’d ask you to take the time to double-check your sender ID, URLs if you use them, and short code format, to ensure service continuity. 

It is important that you take the time to complete these checks and make any necessary adjustments, as you will still be liable for SMS charges if your messages are blocked for non-conformance to these new guidelines.

How will I know if my message has not been sent?

Messages that have been blocked by BT/EE, will be flagged by a failure error code in your  reports.

Need more help?

We’re here to help, so please reach out to your account manager or to the support team.

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