Today text messages are still one of the most effective channels for promotional and transactional messages. However, they are gradually losing their credibility for users for two reasons.
First, the default messaging apps are no longer practical with only a 160-character limit and no functional rich media support. Indeed, the multifunctional messaging apps like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, WeChat, and others are more convenient and hence, more popular.
Second, the abundance in the messaging world has led to a dramatic increase in the number of phishing crimes and scam messages. This eventually decreases the trust among text message recipients.
To change this situation, Google introduced the concept of a verified SMS. The service is partially based on the RCS (rich communication service), which they have been developing for more than a decade.
Verified SMS is a service that sends promotional/transactional messages only from the companies that passed verification and thus can be considered legitimate and safe.
Verified SMS prevents any kinds of unauthorized messages from reaching the clients. Before the companies can send a verified SMS, they should pass a multi-step verification process.
The process begins with standard checkups of the companies’ documentations, clients, and the types of messages planned to send. This process takes a considerable amount of time.
Once the companies pass the first step of the verification process, they are already able to send verified SMS. However, verification is far not over here. After each message being sent, bots examine the message content and block if it doesn’t correspond to their requirements. This, in a way, adds an additional layer of security for messages.
Currently, verified SMS is available only in nine countries, it is expanding considerably fast and will be available worldwide in the near future. Still, some of the countries where verified SMS is available now are the UK, US, Canada, France, Spain, Brazil, Mexico, Philippines, and India.
Although verified SMS and RCS are partially based on the same platform, there are a couple of differences between them. The two most noteworthy differences are the features that each one of them supports, and the countries where they are available.
The features that RCS messages support are quite a lot. It allows sending and receiving images, videos, gifs, seeing link previews, message statuses, or even a graphic to see when the other party is typing. From all of these, verified SMS only supports link previews and allows to send the message from a certified company logo with a check mark.
As surprising as it may look, there are countries where verified SMS is available, but RCS isn’t, and vice versa. This typically has to with some delays of a full integration of the RCS system.
In countries where both verified SMS and RCS are available, the one supports the other when one of them is unavailable. The theory behind this is that in order to use RCS service, companies pass the same verification process. Hence, it is ultimately safe for both ends.
Just like in the case of RCS, verified SMS is a fixed service price, which is not officially announced. Analyses estimate that the cost per one verified SMS will range between five to eight cents. Apparently, resellers in the SMS market can also impact the scheme of the pricing to a certain degree.