The global A2P SMS market was estimated to be worth $52 billion back in 2017, and is expected to continue its meteoric rise over the next few years.

Reports suggest that revenues from A2P services will reach at least £62 billion by 2023, representing a sizeable growth of 42% in less than four years. It has all kinds of applications, from providing customers with information, self-service functionality, marketing and much more.

A look back at the history of A2P

A2P may be a rapidly growing market, but it isn’t new technology by any means. Banks and financial institutions have been using it for anti-fraud alerts and balance statements for over a decade. It is also widely used by doctor’s surgeries and hospitals globally to keep patients informed with appointment times, as well as in the hotel and hospitality industry for reservation reminders.

But it is only relatively recently that companies have started to make real strides in monetising A2P. It is often used to personalise SMS marketing campaigns or for location-based promotions. But some businesses also use the technology in other ways, such as Uber – which utilises A2P as a key part of their operating model.

The role of A2P in the Uber success story

The ride-hailing company has had something of a rough time of it recently, notably with a second-time ban in London in 2019. Concerns over customer safety had dogged Uber, and the last straw in London was when weak spots in the app were identified which allowed some drivers to fake their identities.

These setbacks aside, the success of Uber to date has been extraordinary. The company has been valued at over $60 billion and operates in over 80 countries worldwide. But not many attribute this success to the use of A2P technology, even though messaging is at the very heart of the company’s operating model. In an app that so many see as an example of sophisticated technology in action, it is actually old-fashioned SMS that pulls the whole service together.

Uber realised the importance of being able to communicate with the customer with journey updates, and they needed a platform such as SMS that was reliable and ubiquitous. Consumers didn’t want to have another messaging app to download, but most devices have SMS.

When developing its A2P functionality, Uber worked with a firm called Twilio that gave the developers an API allowing the Uber app to send texts and make calls. This simple yet effective integration means that customers receive a seamless experience.

If your organisation has ambitious plans to roll out or integrate A2P messaging, you’re going to need the right people on your team.

 Expand Executive Search is perfectly placed to help, whether it’s connecting you with our global 60,000+ network of professionals or working on a bespoke recruitment strategy just for you. Get in touch with our specialist team on +44 (0) 1273 668700 or email info@expandexecutivesearch.com to find out more.