27 May 2019

SMS and its social impact on society

The socio-economical role of A2P SMS in emerging markets

To industry outsiders, first encounters with application to person (A2P) SMS often result in negative connotations. However, we would like to take this opportunity to share a range of use cases in which A2P SMS has a profound social impact in helping to raise the quality of life for individuals.

Due to the infrastructural challenges and sporadic mobile data coverage, A2P messaging is relied upon heavily by people in developing countries worldwide. It is often the case that more people have access to mobile phones than to electricity or clean water.

These above-mentioned challenges in developing countries have provided fertile ground for innovations, using an already widespread technology: the mobile phone. The biggest and most common application of this technology has been the rapid growth of mobile banking. While Africa continues to be one of the most unbanked regions of the world, the introduction and application of mobile banking solutions provide the local population with the necessary tools needed in order to close this gap. Thus, providing an easy and convenient way for the unbanked population to use some banking applications.
New mobile technologies, such as NFC and mobile wallets, still rely on the universal application that SMS offers. Thus, SMS is still an important piece for the FinTech jigsaw to function correctly.

Because of these SMS applications, millions of people have a way to:

Improve security
A more flexible way to manage their personal funds
An opportunity to better control their income in a structured way

A2P SMS in these cases serves as a communication channel to initiate, communicate, verify and confirm every transaction.

A2P SMS is also becoming an increasingly invaluable tool in the provision of health care services for those living outside of major urban areas.

A prime example of this is where healthcare professionals are able to stay in touch with HIV patients via SMS in Kenya. Another case shows A2P SMS monitoring and tracking the distribution of mosquito nets, like in Nigeria, or by using SMS to provide advice and battle the misconceptions about pregnancy and childbirth, like in Ghana. The above examples testify to the versatility and impact of SMS services.

While developed countries have, in general, better data coverage making A2P SMS not a primary communication channel, the use of A2P SMS still remains widespread. Ranging from amber alerts, flood and hurricane alerts, political campaigns, cutting cost on communication regarding the road works updates to public transport schedules for example. Governments and public offices also rely on A2P SMS as a communication channel due to its broad reach in a very short time span.

Existing mobile technology that relies heavily on SMS is also creating business opportunities for entrepreneurs working to develop new applications. It is in the business arena that mobile technology is proving to be especially fruitful from a socio-economic perspective in developing countries. Covering different verticals such as insurance, FinTech, e-commerce, the agricultural sector (which accounts for roughly 60% of the continents’ export revenues), educational services and many other young entrepreneurs are leveraging on existing and reliable GSM coverage to create much-needed solutions across developing countries.

As seen above, A2P SMS has real societal impacts that help improve the quality of life for a population. Due to its simplicity, stability and availability and will remain as a go-to channel for those reasons exactly.


“After working in the industry for 4 years on two separate continents, I still get surprised on how applicable A2P SMS technology is while remaining extremely simple. And that is exactly the reason why I think this technology will not go anywhere, and industry leaders will just add up on it, using it as a strong foundation in connecting the world.”

Božo Sunara
Sales Account Manager, DIMOCO Messaging

About DIMOCO Messaging

DIMOCOs global SMS network allows for worldwide SMS sending. We enable you to reach your customers no matter where they are in the world. If you are wondering how SMS can be used as part of your Omnichannel marketing plan, please drop us an email at sales.messaging@dimoco.eu.

DIMOCO Messaging – Driving interactions between businesses & people for almost 20 years.

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Charlotte Newby

Charlotte Newby
Head of Corporate Communications
DIMOCO Corporate Headquarters

Tel: +43 1 33 66 888-2059
Email: hello@dimoco.eu

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