In 1995, the average of SMS sent per user is 0,4 per month. Twenty-five years later, it’s a feature of everyday communication that’s as familiar as making a slice of toast. More recently, of course, OTT messaging apps like WhatsApp and Viber have surged forward in the P2P (person to person) space, yet in enterprise communications application to person – A2P SMS has endured and continues to grow.
A2P SMS delivery continues to be a big part of the communications picture? What are the key drivers?
Perhaps the greatest strength of A2P SMS is that it’s ubiquitous and faster, it works on every handset, smart and dumb as a native function. SMS also works without the need for an internet (4G) connection.
A2P SMS is also well established, and the most trusted channel by consumers when communicating with enterprises. In fact, according to research from the mobile trade body, MEF, SMS is the most trusted of all enterprise communication channels – almost double the trust levels seen with email or OTT apps.
Looking ahead, richer forms of messaging, like RCS, will increase the consumer engagement potential for enterprises, but delivery via A2P will remain the preferred method for reaching the largest possible audience. Why? Because consumers and businesses want it, and it’s the most trusted form of enterprise communication.
It’s true that people in advanced economies are more likely to have smartphones and are more likely to use the internet and social media than people in emerging economies, penetration of mobile devices breaks down as 76% in advanced economies vs 45% in emerging.
Of course, the rise and rise of smartphones have resulted in a step-change in how people communicate. In short, we are more habituated to communicating via voice and text message than ever before, often spontaneously, at the moment. One consequence of this is a change in consumer expectations around how we communicate with enterprises. We want accurate and timely notifications when a parcel is going to be delivered, or on how much we have left in the bank. And increasingly consumers want that conversation to be two-way.
A2P SMS is a quick and reliable way to reach consumers at every stage of their interaction with a company, making it ideal for any customer-facing industry.
In areas like banking and financial services, which are increasingly facing disruption and churn from startups, customer service is the key battleground for winning and retaining consumers – not meeting high customer service levels has dire consequences. Accenture estimates the cost of customers switching due to poor customer service is $1.6 trillion. The Digital Disconnect In Customer Engagement report goes further. It found that 52% of customers have switched providers due to poor customer service, with banks, retailers, and cable and satellite television providers being the worst offenders.
A2P SMS makes this possible so that things like notification, verification and OTP (one-time passwords) and 2FA (two-factor authentication) are routinely delivered via an encrypted SMS message – anytime, anywhere.
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