New Messaging Interface

Friday, 18 September 2020 by Gavin Huet

finPOWER Connect version 3.3.3 introduces an updated SMS Messaging Interface.

The existing "SMS Interface" Add-On has been renamed the "Messaging" Add-On. In addition, there is a new "Advanced Messaging" Add-On, which adds new service providers and features for SMS Messages.

The Advanced Messaging Add-On adds, where possible, delivery status updates, e.g. a notification that messages have been delivered to a handset, and Replies, whereby if a client replies to an SMS it is automatically added into finPOWER Connect.

You can switch between using the "old" and "new" interfaces via Global Settings.

The new "Messaging" interface is currently in BETA. You can still use the old interface if you prefer.

The new interface is fully integrated into Cost Centres, meaning you can easily analyse SMS costs back to your business units. It allows you to specify the Branch (and therefore Cost Centre) and Service, which will default based on the Account, Account Application, Client, External Party, or User that you are working with.

Background Information

There are a number of ways to set up SMS services to send and receive text messages e.g. shared numbers, dedicated numbers, and sender id's.

Shared Numbers are a shared pool of phone numbers owned by the service provider, therefore they could be used by multiple businesses using that service provider, including competitors. They do not support replies. For this reason we do not recommend that shared numbers be used.

Dedicated Numbers are purchased by you from the SMS Provider, and therefore are used exclusively by you. Dedicated numbers support replies. Note, in Australia these may be called Virtual Numbers which means it only supports SMS i.e. not voice.

Sender Id's are short, alphanumeric codes that are displayed on the handset in place of a phone number. They do not support replies. They are not supported in all countries, e.g. they are not available in New Zealand.

Because SMS technologies don't support tracking of messages, there is no specific way to match incoming and outgoing messages. Service providers that do provide tracking do so by matching the from and to numbers of the messages. This is why Shared Numbers and Sender Id's do not work with replies.

Options apply differently to each service provider, so check with you Intersoft Dealer before switching service providers.

Using the New Interface

When switching between the old and new interface; wizards, forms, and business layer functionality will change accordingly.

Cost Centres include configuration for messaging services and also allow you to set a default service per Cost Centre.

Cost Centre Options

If licensed for Cost Centres you will be able to set the Branch and Service when sending a SMS.

Account Send SMS

Using the Summary Page or the Reply via SMS log action, you can reply to a log by sending a SMS.

Account Reply SMS

Logs and their replies are viewed as a thread.

Threaded Account Logs

The Audit Search functionality has also been enhanced to allow you to view the service logs for SMS services which will have a Service Type of "Messaging". Only "Send SMS" products will have a Summary Page which will include, if supported, the status of the message and any replies.

Retrieving Replies and Delivery Status Updates

There are two ways of retrieving Replies and Delivery Status updates. Via the Retrieve SMS Delivery Statuses and Replies wizard and via Webhooks.

Updates via the Retrieve SMS Delivery Statuses and Replies wizard

Replies and Delivery Status updates can be retrieved via the new "Retrieve SMS Delivery Statuses and Replies" wizard.

This wizard goes through each Cost Centre and Service and retrieves the updates from the service provider. This must be run regularly and may take a few minutes to process.

Apart from TxtStream, this function requires the Advanced Messaging Add-On

Updates via Webhooks

The "Advanced Messaging" Add-On can be configured alongside Web Services to automatically receive updates via callback webhooks.

This is the preferred way of receiving updates, as they work in real-time and put less strain on both the client and the service provider servers.

Requires the Web Services and Automation Add-On

Messaging Add-On

Supports the following Services:

Advanced Messaging Add-On

Supports the following Services: