Even when your app is still in the ideation phase, you are probably already starting to think about user onboarding and authentication. You know you need the ability to onboard users via their mobile device (both for authentication and to allow them to download the mobile app with ease). What you may be scratching your head on is which of the myriad solutions is right for your app.
Over the last 3 months, we’ve been testing several generic messaging APIs like Twilio, Nexmo, and others, specifically looking at performance issues that would be of great concern to app developers like yourself. Our testing was deeply focused on SMS reception — sending SMS for verifications and compiling the reception rate on various Android devices. This data encompasses over six months of testing, so it serves as an average to show you the weaknesses of different providers, in certain areas, across several seasons.
Take a look below to see how these Generic SMS APIs compare:
How all SMS Gateways compare against deliverability, latency, reliability for different countries and carriers.
Note: While one provider may appear to be strong in a certain area, please know that this data changes often. Busy seasons, like July 4, Black Friday, and the like, can make a carrier in a particular area no longer a consistent gateway. This is why our Smart Routing algorithm chooses the best carrier at the exact moment of sending — what’s great at one time may be burdened beyond capacity the next time an SMS is sent in the same region.
What you can see is that implementing one of the generic messaging APIs can be a real problem if your app is designed to reach a global audience. Performance and delivery can be an issue, especially in certain countries.
These generic solutions simply don’t perform well in some markets, including India, China, many European nations and in the Middle East. Each of these markets have specific requirements for SMSs, and any messages that don’t conform will be denied. User error, or even your own confusion (failure to escape special characters or to take into account regional dialing conventions), may lead to a large percentage of blocked SMSs. There are a variety of reasons a carrier may block your SMS.
Did You Get My SMS?
Your messages may be delivered, they may not be delivered – it’s often difficult to tell for sure without looking at the device. You may end up with a large number of unconfirmed users (a wasted opportunity if you can’t authenticate them quickly), but how do you activate them if you aren’t even sure if they got your SMS in the first place?
Reliability of delivery aside, there’s also readability to consider. Your message may have gotten through, but if it isn’t encoded correctly, your SMS may appear to be spammy gibberish.
What We’ve Found Is That Generic Messaging APIs Aren’t Robust Enough
Developers choose generic messaging APIs for auth because they’re well-known and easy to understand. Twilio and Nexmo dominate the market, but they just don’t perform to the exacting standards that many developers expect and require. When an SMS is sent for authentication, you have to be able to rely on that message to be delivered – or obviously returned for a clearly understood reason. You need to be able to rely on a solution that will correct a user’s mistake – even including recognizing a faulty user input and correcting it for all global numbering situations.
Your community’s growth and health depends on real users, and spammers and fraudsters will cost your app a great deal of money. You need an SMS gateway that is easy to install, solves the deliverability problem and augments all of this with strong, actionable analytics.
Your app has got to be stellar to draw users, but you can’t lose them before they even get started. RingCaptcha’s Smart Routing algorithm ensures your messages are being sent via the best SMS gateway per county. It finds the right time of day to send and even the season to deliver it (if applicable). Don’t settle for a generic messaging API, with one SMS gateway, to send SMS that you rely on. With RingCaptcha, you get a mature solution, with hundreds of carriers — and better, the right one for each location — with just one API.
Integrating with RingCaptcha is easy. Try the most reliable SMS authentication and onboarding partner — give RingCaptcha a spin.