What Is the DCB_ASSOCIATION Message and How To Disable It

Do you keep seeing a "DCB_ASSOCIATION" message on your phone? Learn what DCB_ASSOCIATION is and how to disable it.
What Is the DCB_ASSOCIATION Message and How To Disable It

Do you find a message saying “DCB_ASSOCIATION” on your phone? If so, don't worry! The text may appear in your sent texts, which can raise concerns that your device has been compromised. However, this is not the case. In this article, we'll provide information about what this message is and how to disable it.


This text message will usually show up as just “DCB” with a string of numbers next to it. It’s texted from your number to another number, usually, one used for authentication or system messages from various services. For example, the text message might look something like “DCB_ASSOCIATION: Y3890K4x” or “DCB:Y3890K4x”.


This unusual notification may appear on your Android smartphone, as shown in the image below:


What is the DCB_ASSOCIATION text message? Is it a scam?


A "DCB_ASSOCIATION" message is usually harmless and simply means that the text was sent to confirm DCB (Direct Carrier Billing) on your Google Play Store account. You can easily turn off this function, which we will show in detail below.


These texts always begin with “DCB:Y3890K4” and are followed by randomly generated alphanumeric characters. In some cases, the message text begins with DCB_ASSOCIATION rather than just DCB.


If you live in India, the message will be sent to or from the 552740002 number, which may or may not be labeled as Distress. If you live in another country, the message sender/receiver for various service providers (Verizon, T-Mobile, O2, AT&T, Sprint, Vodafone, Telus, MTS, etc) may be different, such as 6759, 1505, 9210, 6868, 7968, 6105, 21200, 35890, 69005, 11119999, etc.


First and foremost, don’t be concerned about this SMS; it is not malicious, and your device has not been hacked or infiltrated. Your phone sends or receives this message in order to link your phone number to your Google Play Store account. This is the reason why the message only happens on Android phones.


What is Direct Carrier Billing on Android?


DCB is the abbreviation for Direct Carrier Billing. As the name implies, Google Play Store uses the DCB_ASSOCIATION message to link your Google Play Store account to your cellular connection, i.e. mobile network, enabling direct invoicing of transactions made on Google Play Store.


This is a basic online receipt that consumers receive after making a purchase on the Google Play Store. You may have your cell carrier account (such as Verizon, AT&T, Vodafone, T-Mobile, and many more) invoiced instead of your credit card. This is an easy and efficient way to make purchases through the Google Play Store.


As a result, DCB_ASSOCIATION messages are sent to or sent from users of Android devices when a purchase is made with an account that uses DCB.


How to turn off Direct Carrier Billing/DCB_ASSOCIATION


You can use the steps below to see if the DCB payment option has been added to your Google Play Store account. If you want to stop getting or sending these text messages whenever you make a purchase from the Google Play Store, you may delete the DCB payment method by following the instructions.


  1. Open the Google Play Store app on your Android phone.
  2. To access the menu screen, tap the 3-line navigation menu in the top-left area of the app. Select the Payment methods option.

    payment methds
  3. Tap on your mobile carrier's name, which should appear in the list. The carrier name "Airtel" is shown in the following screenshot, although it will appear different depending on your own provider.

    payment methods
  4. You'll be able to see whether any DCB payment options have been added to your account here. To delete the DCB payment method from your Google Play Store account, firstly, tap on More payment settings.
  5. In a web browser, you’ll be able to access your Google Play Store account settings. You may be required to check-in using the ID associated with your Google Play Store account.
  6. The current DCB payment method will be shown on the webpage. Select the Remove option to disable it. By doing so, you’ll stop receiving text messages (SMS) about DCB_ASSOCIATION and such.
    remove deb association


Note: Keep in mind that if you want to buy more applications from the store, you'll have to establish a new payment method.


Final thoughts


That's everything you need to know about the DCB_ASSOCIATION text message on Android, and how you can disable it. We hope that by reading this article, you were able to find answers to your questions regarding this SMS function!


If there are any questions left unanswered or problems not addressed, please feel free to reach out — our team of experts would love to help! In the meantime be sure to keep up with all things tech by checking back for more articles about troubleshooting, and following us on social media.


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