What is RCS (Rich Communication Services) Messaging?

Rich Communication Services (RCS) is an IP-based messaging service with rich messaging features similar to chat apps but provided through mobile network operators.   

RCS is available worldwide through the majority of service providers and devices.

RCS messaging might also be referred to as:

  • RCS chats
  • RCS texting

RCS chats are used for person-to-person (P2P) and application-to-person (A2P) communications. RCS is a powerful messaging channel as it combines the global reach of SMS (Short Message Service) with the rich features of chat apps (such as WhatsAppViber, and Facebook Messenger) to deliver more interactive, compelling user experiences.

It’s important to note that they activate only when all participants in a conversation have RCS compatibility.

Which devices support Rich Communication Services?

Currently, it is only available on Android phones. Still, Apple announced that they will enable RCS on iOS in 2024, enabling rich messaging features between users of both platforms. It will allow Apple and Android users to interact on a mobile messaging channel without downloading an OTT app.   
This has the potential to change the way businesses connect with customers, as person-to-person communication is likely to change between Android and iOS users.   

RCS vs. SMS and MMS

Before we discuss the differences between the three, it might be helpful to understand the differences between MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service) and SMS (Short Message Service).

Thirty years ago, when the first text message was sent, it changed how we communicate. It doesn’t require an Internet connection, all you need is a cell signal, but it cannot send images, videos, GIFs, or other multimedia content. But SMS is reliable and excellent for sending notifications, reminders, and OTPs.  

MMS is considered the next generation of SMS. It allows sharing of multimedia documents, images, or videos and is often used to send coupons, discounts, and proof of delivery. 

RCS is the next evolution of these messaging channels provided through MNOs. It takes engagement to the next level with OTT features such as verified sender, custom branding, cards, carousels, suggested actions, and analytics.  

It is commonly used for sending automated notifications, interactive promotional campaigns and guiding customers through the onboarding process. 

Supported on Android and Apple devices?Yes, in 2024Yes
Suggestions/Quick repliesYesNo
URL previewYesNo
Delivery/Seen reportsYesOnly delivered
Requires Internet connection?YesNo
Character limitNoYes

RCS vs. RCS Business Messaging

RCS and RCS Business Messaging (RBM) are both next-generation messaging technologies that aim to enhance the traditional SMS experience. 

However, they have different focuses and target different audiences. 

Target audienceIndividualsBusinesses
Primary focusEnhancing personal conversationsImproving business communication
Supported featuresRich media content, location sharingInteractive buttons, suggested replies, campaign tracking
AdoptionWidespread across mobile carriers and messaging appsMore limited adoption, typically requires additional setup
ExamplesSending delivery notifications for online orders, coordinating plans with co-workersSending marketing promotions, providing customer support

Key RBM features

RBM messaging offers rich functionalities to enable more engaging customer journeys. Businesses use RBM to build strong customer relationships through branded two-way communications.

Through a rich feature set that allows for:

  • Creating branded messages – Fully verified sender IDs mean users always know who they are talking to. 
  • High text limit – Even the birds know that the SMS messages are limited to 160 characters, while RBM allows you to send 1000 characters at once. 
  • Sending multimedia messages – RBM allows you to send files up to 10MB in size, including photos, videos, gifs, carousels, and more. 
  • Cross-app connectivity – You can send messages that open in other applications. 
  • Creating group chats – You can connect with friends, family, or team members with group messages.
  • Suggested reply buttons – You can boost message response rates by allowing customers to respond with a single button embedded within the conversation. 
  • Barcode delivery – You can send messages that contain barcodes, which customers can scan with their smartphones. Customers can be directed to a specific landing page, website, or app when they scan a barcode.
  • Click-through options – Allow customers to take immediate action on the message, such as clicking on a link to visit a website or app. 

Why adopt RBM?

Benefits for users

  • No additional downloads – Users do not have to download another application because all Android devices have built-in RCS
  • Verified senders – Businesses must be verified before sending RBM messages to users
  • Rich features – Including message reactions, read receipts, and typing indicators
  • Large file sharing – Users can send and receive different files in various sizes


more likely to read RBM messages than emails


of people are more likely to engage with a brand through RBM

Source: Google

Benefits for businesses

Brands now have a new way to develop relationships through two-way communication.

Various features equal better engagement

Interactive and personalized elements and multimedia assets elevate the engagement experience. Instead of redirecting customers to external portals, RBM messages allow direct interaction within the message, streamlining processes like product exploration or appointment booking.

Including elements such as buttons with suggested actions and carousels of images, each with unique calls to action saves time and provides customers with efficient solutions.

Better reporting

Features like handset delivery receipts, open rates, and read rates offer detailed information about the message status, enabling you to monitor message performance based on delivery and engagement. Improved reporting enhances visibility and provides valuable data for optimizing campaigns.

Reliable fallback options

Suppose your recipient lacks sufficient service or Internet connections to receive your RBM messages. The message will be delivered using a fallback protocol or another app, like SMS, MMS, WhatsApp, or Viber. This means you don’t have to worry about your messages not reaching your customers.


increase in RBM usage from 2021 to 2022 on the Infobip platform


Growth in RBM traffic globally over the next five years


Growth of RCS users by 2028

RBM use cases

Promotions and special offers

You can deliver real-time updates on sales and promotions personalized to each customer’s preferences.

You can guide them to your website, provide directions to your physical location, and even enable them to select and place orders directly from your message.

Account alerts

You can efficiently send account alerts previously limited to SMS or apps. Now, you can send fraud alerts, payment posting messages, and service reminders right to your customers’ message inbox, with links and options for how to proceed.

Personalized recommendations

Rich messages built around unique customer profiles lead to better engagement and sales. Create a profile for your customers based on past purchases and behavior to provide relevant, helpful recommendations.

Successful examples of RBM adoption

Club Comex

As early adopters, they transitioned from traditional SMS messaging to RBM campaigns, delivering offers and information directly to their members. The introduction of rich interactive content featuring images, videos, and buttons led to:


increase in click-through rate


increase in revenue compared to their prior SMS marketing campaigns


In a collaborative effort, Digitaleo and Infobip orchestrated a Black Friday campaign in France for Bodemor Auto, leveraging RBM to feature new deals.

The result:


more engagement with the RBM campaign than SMS

Three tips for a great RBM strategy

Know your pain points

Every message should have a distinct purpose, be it giving access to a sale or delivering an account alert.

To start, try categorizing your messages based on their purpose:

  • Informational messages – fraud alerts, account balances, 2FA messages, or any other information
  • Marketing or transactional messages – inviting customers to a sale, following up on an abandoned cart, assisting them in purchasing or returning, etc.

Learn from past experiences

Learn from your past client interactions and implement that into your new strategies. Learn what worked well and what performed poorly.

Use customer data

As previously mentioned, your customers want personalized experiences. Deliver them just that with your data, ask for feedback, and formulate the best marketing and support strategies for your business.


Jan 26th, 2024
7 min read