Having long flirted with its India launch, RCS – Rich Communication Service – is finally here: a moment of epiphany for the business communication sector.

Bringing the power of OTT apps to the traditional SMS service, RCS will help brands engage with customers, clients and staff for transactional and promotional communication as well. RCS can be powered by AI-based chatbots and has the potential to transform the way businesses make full use of the messaging service by going way beyond one-way communication. (enabling the next level of two-way communications)

RCS will let users experience features like group chat functionality, high-res attachments, typing indicators etc. for P2P communications. Features like carousels, suggested replies, suggested actions, rich cards, images, audio, video and more such A2P features for enterprises/brands are enabled on the beta version of Android messages already.

Currently, in order to experience RCS, android users have to update their Android Messaging Client which is nothing but the messages app to the BETA version from the play store.

However, in a few months, even the OEMs can be seen going all out with this feature by directly updating the messaging client app on the end user’s phone. This is to ensure that android users can experience a richer B2B and B2C interaction. In the future, it will be an operator driven service.

With its qualities of openness, innovation, reach, quality, protection, rewards, value,transparencyand privacy, it is especially beneficial to the telecom industry. One of its major benefits, apart from utility and aesthetics, is that it’ll filter out spam. Now available in India across all major cellular service providers, RCS is soon to become the new normal messaging channel.

RCS is also a crucial factor in mobile authentication – a process vital for security. The process authorises either the mobile device itself or uses the mobile as part of a multi-factor authentication scheme for logging into secure servers. These could be non-text passwords, OTPs, digital certificates or out of band authentication. RCS, with its underlying IMS core system, smoothly takes care of issues such as authentication, authorisation, registration, charging and routing. Any technology that isn’t able to support this authentication process will virtually phase-out, as users will abandon any non-secure formats.

With the authentication possible on an RCS-enabled mobile device, the user experience is assured to be smooth. This is because the user does not have to log on to another device or look elsewhere for codes – it’s right there already in their palms. (i.e. it is a native messaging app pre-installed in your mobile phones)

RCS is set to especially benefit business communication in very certain terms.

Firstly, it is universal. Being native to the user’s mobile phone, much like WhatsApp, the adaption is seamless. With Android supporting RCS, the reach is solid. It is believed that Apple will soon join the race.

RCSis set to reach 80-90% of mobile phone userswhen completely rolled-outby all operators, as users will receive messages directly on their phones, without coming through any instant messaging apps, which many people are dissuaded from downloading.

Its solid user experience will gradually see RCS replacing customer service phone calls. Users will now be able to search their inboxes for brands communicating with them, thereby saving time in phone calls.

RCS offers a lot more data transparency, making its performance more dependable and measurable. This in turn, helps brands to manoeuvre strategies and alters approaches towards marketing campaigns.

The greater UX via embedded CTA buttons i.e. suggested replies and direct communication between brands & end-users will lead to a superior brand experience, reach & brand recall too.

Streamlined smoothly with AI-based chatbots, RCS will become further valuable. Despite its giant strides, this is still a developing evolution and everyday RCS is being made robust and getting ready for changing the way the modern world communicates.

Published in ET Telecom: The future of business communication is here!