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A2P messaging (application to person messaging)

Contributor(s): Sarah Lewis

A2P messaging (application to person messaging), also known as enterprise or business SMS, is a type of SMS messaging technique where a text is sent from a software application run by an enterprise to a consumer's device. Mobile users will opt-in to subscribe to text message notifications that allow them to interact with businesses through a mobile network connection. With A2P messaging, the line of communication is typically one-way, meaning the recipient is not always expected to respond.

Since around 98% of all text messages are opened by the receiver, A2P messaging is a cost effective way for businesses to increase engagement with consumers. Popular forms of A2P messages include marketing campaigns, promotional codes, appointment reminders, account pin codes, bank alerts and shipping notifications. Many major industries have adopted A2P technology such as retail, banking, telecom, healthcare and travel.

The reverse of A2P messaging, or P2A messaging, is when a customer initiates an SMS conversation with a software application. A common use case of this is when a mobile device user votes for their favorite contestant on a television show.

Current trends and examples

As A2P messaging becomes a more popular form of sales and marketing communication between a company and its customers, a few examples of current trends are:

  • Two-factor authentication (2FA) to increase account security or verify change's to a user's account, typically by sending a one-time passcode to the user's mobile device.
  • Anti-fraud alerts that are immediately sent to a user when suspicious account activity is detected.
  • The creation of company support channels through applications like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp.
  • Online reservation systems that can provide real time confirmations and updates.
  • IoT device alerts and notifications between smart devices, such as AI assistants, and mobile phones.
This was last updated in December 2018

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