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What is RCS Messaging and how it is Revolutionizing Communication

by | Feb 5, 2020

Messaging plays a primary role in business communication today. New messaging trends, like RCS messaging, have revolutionized communication. 

Every month, businesses and users exchange over 8 billion messages! It is the fastest and most convenient way to interact with customers. This is why it has become such a popular method for marketers to build campaigns around. 

Whether it is a bank texting its customers about their financial transactions, airlines sending flyers their tickets or a brand updating customers about their package delivery. Messages have enabled businesses to guide and update their customers at each step of their journey. 

RCS - the future of messaging - mobile messaging trends

What is RCS Messaging?

RCS (Rich Communication Services) is an initiative to enhance regular SMS. While modern apps provide read receipts, last seen details, media messages, group chats and more, RCS aims to bring these features to default-messaging apps. It also limits the number of user restrictions that come with regular text messaging. It is a lot like WhatsApp, where the chat can support live conversations, include multi-media support and everything is handled via the data network. 

RCS is what businesses need to enhance B2C messaging. By using all the above-mentioned features and other interactive elements, businesses will be able to provide customers an engaging and branded mobile experience. 

Industry experts first started working on the concept of RCS back in 2007. In 2008, GSMA officially took the lead in guiding the development of RCS. In 2016, GSMA launched the first standard for RCS and its specifications called Universal profile. This was globally-agreed upon. Since this launch, RCS has got significant support from Google and Samsung

Today, RCS and Universal Profile are supported by 79 operators around the globe. According to Mobilesquared, 450 mobile operators will be running RCS, and 3 billion people will be using it worldwide by 2023.

RCS messaging is a great solution for businesses that allows them to send rich, engaging messages to customers using the Android messaging platform. This protocol is an upgrade on traditional SMS text messaging that enables businesses to send more engaging a2p messages to customers. With RCS communication, businesses can send text, images, videos, and other multimedia content through their communications.

RCS business messaging also comes with advanced features such as read receipts, high-resolution media sharing, and in-conversation actions- all of which can help businesses to build a closer relationship with their customers. With RCS texting, businesses can increase their message open rates and conversion rates, ensuring that their customers have a smooth and enjoyable experience with their brand. Overall, RCS messaging is an excellent tool for businesses looking to enhance their customer communications and drive more sales.

How is RCS different from Traditional Messaging?

Compared to traditional messaging, RCS holds several advantages in terms of service features and functionality. With RCS, businesses can send high-quality photos, videos, and other rich media content, meaning that marketing messages and product promotions are more visually attractive and engaging for the recipient. RCS provides businesses with the ability to facilitate real-time customer service, whereby recipients can make inquiries and receive timely responses from customer support teams using chatbots, interactive menus, or customer care agents.

Another benefit of RCS is the ability to conduct transactions within messages, transforming the way customers purchase products or services. This feature streamlines the customer journey as consumers can shop and complete transactions without leaving the messaging app experience. Compared to traditional messaging, RCS conversations also feature read receipts and typing indicators, giving customers a more natural flow within the conversation.

RCS also integrates seamlessly with personal contacts, which in turn can help brands with their customer relationship management strategies. This integration not only ensures that messages reach the right person but also enables customers to recognize the message’s sender, driving up open rates and conversions.

The Rich Communication Services protocol offers businesses a powerful and feature-rich communication tool that surpasses traditional messaging. 

The impact on business communication

Customers today want to use messaging that lets them share high-resolution photos and PDFs, make video calls, and more. RCS makes all this possible. 

Businesses will now be able to send detailed, customized messages to customers. This will not only reduce the call center traffic and support tickets they receive but also help customers enjoy a smooth experience with the brand. 

For example, airlines will be able to send a customer their boarding and seat options. Imagine how different it is from today’s text-only confirmations that are possible via SMS. There are multiple opportunities for businesses in all industries to leverage RCS. For instance, it can be used to send travel package details, credit card alerts, product demo videos, and more. Its 2-way messaging capabilities allow it to be used both as a communicational as well as a conversational tool.

Are RCS messages secure?

RCS messages are sent through data and are client-to-server encrypted. This upgrade in SMS will also prevent spam messages, as companies need to get verified before they can send RCS messages. Once the business is verified, it can interact with its customers through RCS. The messages received by their customers will show the company’s name instead of just the mobile number. 

There is a lack of end-to-end encryption that is currently available in some current messaging applications such as WhatsApp.

Where is RCS currently supported?

Many businesses and operators are supporting RCS. Google is releasing a new feature built through RCS – Chat. Chat is part of its existing Android Messaging app along with SMS and MMS. It is currently targeting France and the UK. In the UK, the service went live on 28th June 2019 for some users, but the user will still depend on the device being used. Vodafone has supported RCS, since 2014, in the UK, but only with other Vodafone users.

In the US, Verizon, Sprint, AT&T, and T-Mobile have agreed on a cross-carrier solution for RCS. This will bring RCS to the US soon. In Australia, the telecommunications giant, Telstra, announced RCS support for some Android devices. New Zealand has also seen support from some operators.

Right now, support for RCS is limited to only a few carriers and devices. RCS availability will depend on the operator and hardware support. Note that if you send an RCS message to a phone or mobile network that doesn’t support it, it will be received as a regular text message by that user. 

With an increasing number of deployments and in-marketing trails, RCS Messaging is ready to upgrade SMS. RCS has revolutionized messaging. Businesses know more about consumers today than ever before; with RCS, they can use this information to communicate with customers effectively. 

Kalaivani Narayanan

Kalaivani Narayanan

Content Specialist