SMS Charges Explained
This article explains how SMS fees are charged so that you can better understand your costs. Receiving SMS from clients is free.
A dedicated Toll-Free Number (TFN) is required to send/receive SMS messages in the USA and Canada. For more details, please click here.
In this article:
Standard Messages and SMS Credits
- As per international telecommunications standards, the length of a standard text message is 160 characters, including spaces. An SMS message can certainly exceed 160 characters; it will, however, become a ‘multi-part message’ in terms of SMS charges.
This character count applies only to the Global System for Mobile (GSM) character set. GSM includes Latin letters A to Z, numbers 0 to 9, and a few symbols and special characters (such as exclamation marks).
- As soon as your text becomes a multi-part message, the character limit changes to 153 characters per part. You will get charged per part where one part is one SMS credit. Regardless of how many parts you send, your recipients will only receive one longer message.
- Here is a guideline to follow when composing a standard message or multi-part message:
- 1 – 160 characters = 1 SMS credit
- 161 – 306 characters = 2 SMS credits
- 307 – 459 characters = 3 SMS credits
- And so on…
The text message body limit is 5000 characters, which creates 33 ‘parts’ in a standard GSM message. In other words, 5000 characters / 153 characters = 33 SMS credits.
You can always check how many parts your text message consists of by viewing this counter
- on the Text Messaging Panel,
or in Client Profile > Communication > Activity > +New Message, in Client Profile > Communication > New SMS, Client Profile > Records > Correspondence > New SMS
Non-Standard Messages and SMS Credits
A non-standard message is a message that contains any characters that are not standard GSM. Its maximum character length will become 70 characters long. Non-standard messages are those that contain Unicode characters and emojis. Once you go beyond those 70 characters, they become segmented into multiple parts. Each part can then be up to 67 characters long.
Here is a guideline to follow when composing a single or multi-part Unicode (non-GSM) message:
- 1 – 70 characters = 1 SMS credit
- 71 – 134 characters = 2 SMS credits
- 135 – 201 characters = 3 SMS credits
- And so on…
The maximum number of characters in a Unicode text message is 5000 characters, which is 75 message parts. In other words, 5000 characters / 67 characters = 75 SMS credits.
SMS Credits Costs
Below are the costs per one SMS credit, based on the location of your Power Diary account:
- 1 SMS Credit for Australia = $0.15 AUD + GST 10%
- 1 SMS Credit for the USA = $0.11 USD
- 1 SMS Credit for the UK = £0.09 GBP
- 1 SMS Credit for New Zealand = $0.15 NZD
- 1 SMS Credit for Canada = $0.15 CAD
- 1 SMS Credit for Europe = €0.11 EUR
- 1 SMS Credit for South Africa = R1.60 South African Rand
- 1 SMS Credit for Other countries (global) = $0.11 USD
Checking Your Monthly SMS Charges
Your monthly bill includes SMS charges for the messages you sent in the previous month. You can find this information in Setup → Subscription → Invoices and Receipts
Checking the SMS Usage Reports
To see the specifics of what messages have been sent and received, please refer to the SMS Usage report.
- Navigate to Reports → System → SMS Usage;
- Enter the date range in the report filter at the top of this page;
- You can filter the report further by Calendar and SMS status;
- Hit Run Report;
- Once ready, the report will provide you with the details of each message;
- You will be able to print or export the report to PDF or Excel: