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Six Reasons Why Businesses Will Always Need SMS

Here are six reasons why companies still need to rely on traditional text messaging to communicate with their consumers:

Photo Credit : ShutterStock


Messaging has come a full circle from symbols on a rock to rich-media messaging using GIFs and emoticons on a mobile phone. While businesses might want to adopt newer channels of mobile engagement such as WhatsApp Business and eventually RCS; SMS is going nowhere. Its ubiquity, about 100 per cent reach and ease of adoption make it the most pervasive and future proof communication channel.

SMS, the massively unrecognized hero is the default messaging app on a phone, smartphone or not. Texting is still massively popular with businesses. It doesn’t come as a surprise then, that businesses are expected to send 2.5 trillion messages in 2019 according to a report.

Here are six reasons why companies still need to rely on traditional text messaging to communicate with their consumers:

It's ubiquitous

Your consumers may or may not be on WhatsApp but they are sure to have SMS on their mobile phones. While we assume that all smartphones are the norm now, a report by Ericsson suggests otherwise. Although smartphones are steadily finding their way into the interiors and small towns of every nation, according to the report one-third of the world’s phones aren’t “smart enough”. In fact, the report states that 35 per cent of phone users in the world are best reached via text messaging.


Data flow in SMS is always protected by the law of the land, and there is continuity even if one operator liquidates. Not only are they answerable to the law in the operating country, but they also have to survive in a competitive ecosystem. If messages are terminated or not sent to the consumers, penalties are levied on operators. A reliable service provider will offer at least 99 per cent with a multiple retry mechanism if the service fails.


With the traditional text message, even if an operator is down you could reach the user from an alternate one. But in the case of OTT messaging apps, if the app is down that means it is down for everyone in the world. So, having SMS has become even more essential for businesses, in spite of the availability of more sophisticated mediums of business messaging.

Window to possibilities

Consumers today demand a richer customer experience and prefer being reached on a medium that offers convenience. By adding on technologies such as Progressive Web Apps (PWA) and Chatbots on SMS, businesses can offer consumers a richer experience. You can offer consumers the opportunity to transact, retrieve information and even check account balance with a CTA as a PWA link, missed call number or actionable buttons.

It comes with the phone

An OTT messaging app needs to be downloaded and can also be uninstalled. Whereas the default SMS app cannot be uninstalled. SMS is the quintessential feature that nobody would and can really give up. It’s the primary fallback for businesses.

Basic right

People may or may not own a smartphone, but as per the UN, telecom service is a basic right worldwide. And SMS is bundled in it. The International Telecommunication Regulations (ITRs) has a provision regarding the right to communicate with a mandate for all telecom operators to deliver “a satisfactory quality of service”. Likewise, each country has its own mandates for the quality of service that operators need to live upto.

So, whether it is a time-critical notification like OTP authentication, or a discount offer to encourage sales, SMS still plays a very important role in customer engagement currently. 

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

Tags assigned to this article:
sms companies Emoticons GIFs whatsapp

Leon Serrao

The author is Director, Product & Solutions at Karix Mobile

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