Given people’s general aversion to calling these days, the amount of important communication conducted over texting is not surprising. Google’s Messages app wants to secure this process with Verified SMS, and the first supported businesses have been announced. Meanwhile, spam protection in the client is now rolling out for the US.

Verified SMS is similar in concept to the HTTPS lock icon providing an assurance that you’re on the real website, and not a malicious fake that’s actually siphoning your password. It’s meant to protect one-time passwords, account alerts, and other notices.

Google’s solution confirms the real identity of the business that’s texting on a per-message basis. A business name, logo, description, and shield badge appears at the top of the conversation thread.

When a registered business wants to send you a message, it creates an unreadable authenticity code (also known as a message hash) for the message, sends the code to Google, and sends the message to you over SMS.

Messages Verified SMS

The first brands to register include 1-800 Flowers, Banco Bradesco, Kayak, Payback, and SoFi. According to Google, “more businesses are signing up to be verified every day.” Verification codes and account alerts from Google, as well as Google Pay Tez, will also use the system.

Verified SMS in Messages is gradually rolling out today in the US, India, Mexico, Brazil, UK, France, Philippines, Spain, and Canada after emerging in beta last month. It’s complimentary to RCS Business Messaging which already integrates identity authentication.

Messages is also gaining real-time spam detection in the US. Already available in other countries, you’ll be warned of suspected spam with a banner at the top of the conversation. There’s a prompt to report to Google and block moving forward.

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