Virtual Office Featured Article

Mobile Wallets Advance India's A2P SMS

November 14, 2017
By Paula Bernier - Executive Editor, TMC

A year ago this month, India’s government divested the value of 500 and 1,000 rupee-note banknotes. That was in an effort to crack down on counterfeit money. This had a couple of interesting side effects.

It prompted people to look for new ways to do transactions. And that led to the adoption of more mobile wallets.

The adoption of mobile wallets in India then resulted in the need for notification services. Notifications provide mobile wallet users with current card balances. They can also be used to alert mobile wallet users when their transactions have been completed.

That has created new opportunity for a company called Infobip (News - Alert).

“Banking in India has been transformed by the mobile payments revolution, with consumers and business able to make and confirm transactions easily and securely via SMS,” said Harsha Solanki, managing director for India at Infobip.

The company says it delivered 4 million application-to-person SMS messages in India this year. In fact, 30 percent of all A2P traffic in the region is carried on the Infobip network.

The Infobip network serves enterprise business customers. It is particularly popular with companies in the financial services and retail verticals. Mobile operators use the Infobip network too. Aircel (News - Alert) and two other major Indian operators rely on Infobip’s A2P SMS Business-as-a-Service solution.

Infobip also offers the OMNI cloud-based communications platform, which launched in February. OMNI provides consistent messaging across chat apps, email, and SMS.

photo courtesy of BigStock

Data released this year by Zion Market Research indicates the global A2P SMS market, which was valued at around $55 billion in 2014, is poised to reach $70 billion in 2020. And the GSMA (News - Alert) estimates that A2P SMS will be worth $74 billion by 2021.

GSMA’s IP Communications Project Director David O’Byrne in a June blog noted that messages have a very high open rate, and that 90 percent are opened within three minutes.  He adds that Messaging as a Platform, or RCS MaaP, can be used to dramatically improve upon A2P SMS by adding trust and other features. (GSMA has been pushing RCS as an SMS replacement as illustrated in this piece, this blurb, and this press release.)

“These include alpha-numeric identification of the sender, so company names rather than short-codes can be presented as the ‘sender’; IP messages which allow sending of 2-D bar codes for tickets, such as flights or coupons; smart-cards with action buttons, allowing customers to make purchases directly from the messaging screen; and time-stamped read-receipts that provide companies with crucial data about customer behavior and communication preferences,” GSMA’s O’Byrne says. 

Edited by Mandi Nowitz

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