What you need to know about Verified SMS on Google Messages

Written by Chris Michaud on

Over the past several years, SMS phishing attempts have been on the rise. Compared to email, SMS phishing (also known as “smishing“) attempts can be harder to detect, and usually more successful. But consumers love text messaging and they want to know that the brands they’re communicating with and the messages they’re receiving, are legitimate.

With the launch of Verified SMS (or vSMS), brands now have the tools to instill confidence into their consumer interactions. Just how brands can verify their social media properties, they can now verify their messaging presence—making messages safer, more trustworthy, and giving consumers peace of mind.

Here are several questions we’ve been recently asked about vSMS and what it might mean for you and your business:

What is vSMS?

Verified SMS, or vSMS, is a feature of Google Messages that adds sender verification and branding to a business’ SMS programs, making them safer and more trustworthy.

What are some of the other features of vSMS?

The main features of vSMS include:

  • Verified message sender badge to let consumers know they can trust the message
  • Business name and logo to provide at-a-glance branding
  • Detailed link previews to allow consumers to see the web content you’re trying to serve them
  • Enhanced metrics to enable businesses to track which messages were successfully verified

How does vSMS work?

Verified SMS works by verifying content that is sent by a business, on a per-message basis. When a message is verified, users see the sender’s business name, the sender’s business logo, and a verification badge at the top of the message thread.

Is vSMS different than RCS?

Yes, RCS is a carrier initiative that supports rich messaging and other advanced features. vSMS is run by Google and only works on the Google’s Messages app to simply add a layer of verification and trust to SMS.

How is data handled with vSMS?

Businesses using vSMS will create a hash (a string of text using a mathematical function) of the message using a combination of keys unique to that business and submit it to Google. When a user receives the message, Google checks to verify the hash for that message and if it exists, the user will see the business name, logo, and verified sender badge. The real message or PII is not sent to Google.

What countries is vSMS available in?

Verified SMS is available in the US, India, Mexico, Brazil, UK, France, Philippines, Spain, and Canada with more countries on the way.

What businesses are currently using vSMS?

Some of the brands that have rolled out vSMS are Branco Bradesco, Kayak, Payback, SoFi, Paym, and 1 800-Flowers.

How can I get started with vSMS?

It’s easy to get started—and as a Google launch partner, we’re ready to help!

Contact us here to learn more about vSMS or how to get started with a mobile program for your brand.