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What is a shortcode? Types of shortcodes. How does the shortcode service work in Kenya?
What is a shortcode? Types of shortcodes. How does the shortcode service work in Kenya?

Shortcode service

Written by Stephany Pagliaccia
Updated over a week ago

Shortcode service

A shortcode is a five-digit or four-digit code, assigned exclusively to your Mteja account, that recipients can use to send their feedback to you.

How it works

How the shortcode works depends on the service you offer, a shortcode works in the two ways:

Zero-rated/ Toll Free: Free for the end user to send and receive messages from the shortcode.

Standard Rated: They operate just like long-form numbers. Sending a message incurs the same network charges as a long-form number while receiving messages is free to both the sender and receiver.

Types of Shortcodes

Dedicated short code

Solely used by an organization, the code owner can raise unlimited keywords on the dedicated code for free.

Shared shortcode or Keyword service

The service allows users to receive feedback messages without the need to get their own dedicated shortcode. The keyword is linked to your mteja account, and is hosted on the default shortcode.

How it works

For the message to be received in your inbox on Mteja, the message must start with a unique word "keyword".

All messages received with a keyword are displayed in your inbox.

Add ons


Users can have an automated response linked to the shortcode or keyword. 

The autoresponse is automatically sent to a recipient when a message is received in your Mteja inbox via either the shortcode or keyword service.

The message is billed at the standard rate per 160 characters.

Billing on shortcode and keyword service

The services are billed on a monthly basis, i.e. a user is billed on the same date of the next month from the date they subscribed to the service.


The services can be deactivated by emailing the request to

The services can be deactivated automatically if the service is not paid for after 3 weeks.

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