A shortcode is a special telephone number, usually five digits long, that is used as an SMS “inbox”. Premium rated shortcodes do cost the user more money, but this charge is either used to cover the reply message, or to cover the reply message and additionally generate revenue. Premium rated shortcodes start at a R1 band and currently go all the way to R50 per transaction. Revenue share models differ from mobile network to mobile network. Premium-rated shortcodes work excellently as donation lines for charities and other fund-raising causes.

Standard-rated shortcodes are charged at the rate of a standard SMS, and the shortcode owner foots the bill of the response messages. This service works particularly well in instances where premium-rated shortcodes might deter the target market from utilising the service.

Maverick offers a reverse-billed model for shortcode setups where required, so it is possible for consumers to communicate with a shortcode free of charge and for the brand to cover their entrants’ SMS charges – these are reverse-billed to the client at standard rate.