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Unsupported SMS/MMS use cases in USA and Canada
Unsupported SMS/MMS use cases in USA and Canada
Erica Hoelper avatar
Written by Erica Hoelper
Updated over a week ago

Which messaging use cases is CloudTalk unable to support?

Due to local country operators, there are some types of messaging traffic that CloudTalk and our underlying SMS/MMS operators are not able to support on United States or Canadian phone numbers.

These are forbidden use cases determined by USA operators and CTIA, which CloudTalk is not able to influence

  1. High-risk or predatory financial services:

    • Payday loans

    • Short-term, high-interest rates loans

      • Third-party loans (e.g., auto, mortgage) - "Third-party" means originating from any party other than the one which will service the loan. First party loan content is acceptable if it is not promotional messaging.

      • Student loans

      • New loan soliciting

    • Cryptocurrency

    • Stocks and investing platforms

      No businesses that solely operate in stocks, investing, or cryptocurrency are allowed to send SMS traffic.

  2. Third-party lead generation services:

    • Companies engaged in the buying, selling, or sharing of consumer information

    • Companies, NGOs or political campaigns that buy, sell, or share consumer information

    • Affiliate lending

    • Affiliate marketing

    • Deceptive marketing

  3. Third-party debt collection or forgiveness:

    "Third-party" means originating from any party other than the one who is owed the debt. For example, a hospital could send messages regarding bills for its own patients, assuming they provided opt-in to receive that messaging.

    Debt consolidation, debt reduction and credit repair programs are prohibited regardless if there is first-party consent.

    • Services offered by third-party entities for debt collection or forgiveness

    • Debt consolidation services

    • Debt reduction services

    • Credit repair programs

  4. "Get rich quick" schemes:

    • Deceptive work-from-home programs

    • Risky investment opportunities

    • Pyramid schemes

    • Mystery Shopping

    • Multi Level Marketing (MLM)

  5. Federally Illegal substances/articles:

    • Cannabis (United States)

    • CBD (United States)

    • Fireworks

    • Kratom

    • Vape/E-cigs

  6. Prescription drugs:

    • Drugs that require a prescription

    • Offers for drugs that cannot be sold over the counter in the US/Canada

  7. Gambling:

    • Casino apps

    • Gambling and Booking websites

    • Betting or Sports Picks

    • Sweepstakes

    • Raffles

    • Gambling traffic on all number types (Toll-Free and Local Numbers) in the US and Canada

  8. "S.H.A.F.T." use cases:

    • Content containing explicit sexual material

    • Hate speech

    • Promotion of alcohol

    • Promotion of firearms

    • Promotion of tobacco and vaping products (allowed on local numbers with age-gating procedures)

  9. Any sort of illegal or fraudulent use:

    • Messaging that promotes illegal activities.

    • Messaging that solicits or promotes scams or fraud.

    • Messaging that violates any applicable laws or regulations.

Why are CBD and THC-related use cases forbidden if they are legal in my state/country?


Even though some states have legalized cannabis, federal laws still consider it illegal, so telecom operators adopt a very strict approach to messaging content. Similarly, certain states in the US also prohibit the sale of CBD products. CloudTalk's operators Messaging Policy aligns with US carrier regulations in this regard, and there are no exceptions to this policy.


In Canada, cannabis and CBD are not considered illicit substances. Therefore, messaging related to age-restricted content, including cannabis, is generally allowed. However, it is crucial to have proper age-verification measures in place for compliance purposes.

*Please note that cannabis and CBD-related messaging is prohibited on Toll-Free Numbers in Canada, so you will need to do this messaging on a local number.

Are there any alternatives, if one of these is my use case?

If your messaging use case is on the forbidden list for SMS and MMS in the US and Canada, don't worry! You can still use CloudTalk to reach your recipients on a call.

Voice operators in the USA do not have the same limitations as SMS operators, so these use cases are not prohibited with calling and voice traffic!

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