RCS: Experience the Future of Business Texting

What is RCS?

RCS, or Rich Communication Services, is the next generation of mobile messaging that will replace SMS (Short Message Service) and change the way people text. Unlike SMS, which has been around since the early 90s and offers limited functionality, RCS will support rich texting features like interactive media carousels, real-time typing indicators and large file transfer.  

Read on to learn how businesses like yours will be able to use these features. 

Schedule an appointment 

Let customers and clients conveniently view and select open times for appointments, classes or reservations. 

Send a calendar invite

Send calendar events that customers and employees can save directly to their Google calendars. These, along with reminders and updates, can help reduce no-shows. 

See when texts are delivered and recipients are typing in real time

Real-time data on active conversations helps you serve your customers better. Respond to high-priority texts right when they come in. Plus, see when your text is delivered and read. 

Display a carousel of clickable images

Present seating options for an event, food choices from a menu, class schedules for your gym, rental car options and more! 

Send a location

Quickly and easily direct customers to your business or somewhere else based on their location. Or enable delivery driver location tracking so customers know when to expect you.

Text large video files or high-resolution images

Save time by transferring documents to and from customers via text. Plus, use high-resolution photos and videos to support insurance claims, provide property walk-throughs and more. 

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Frequently asked questions about RCS 

RCS is available today for consumers who have a compatible phone with a supported mobile carrier. Your recipient must also have RCS enabled. RCS is not yet available to businesses using Zipwhip.  

Zipwhip is better prepared to handle RCS because we work directly with the major mobile carriers. We’re helping them deploy RCS to their consumers so we can bring it to businesses. 

Apple iOS does not currently support RCS. It’s unclear at this point whether Apple will choose to support RCS in the future. However, Apple’s iMessage offers some of the features mentioned above, such as read receipts and typing indicators. 

Zipwhip is currently working with the major carriers to obtain RCS connectivity to their networks. We hope to offer RCS functionality to customers in 2021. To stay up to date on our progress, subscribe to our newsletter above.  

Yes, that is the plan once we support RCS in our infrastructure and applications. It will also allow businesses to create rich media messages to leverage RCS to the fullest. 

Our goal is to provide the best messaging experience possible for each of your customers. If a customer does not have RCS, the message will revert to SMS.  

Yes. As Zipwhip integrates with more mobile carriers and RCS service providers, like Google, the scope of devices able to send and receive RCS messages with Zipwhip customers will grow. 

Apple has not confirmed or denied the development of RCS on their devices in the future.  

Google Messages is the SMS application currently available on Android operating systems. Google Messages leverages RCS technology, and they are working on making it compatible with other RCS messaging clients. 

To active RCS, follow these instructions: 

  1. Visit the Google Play Store and download the Google Messages app if you don’t have it already. Set it as your default messaging app when prompted. 

  2. Go to the Google Messages app and tap the three dots in the upper right corner. Then select Settings.  

  3. Tap ‘Chat features’ and then select ‘Enable chat features’ to turn on RCS. 

In 2019, the four major wireless carriers (T-Mobile/Sprint, AT&T and Verizon) announced a joint venture called the Cross Carrier Messaging Initiative (CCMI), to ensure they work together to bring consumers a replacement for SMS. However, CCMI has not launched anything yet. Each carrier is also working independently on RCS.  

Google is working on end-to-end encryption for RCS, which means it will be more secure than SMS and MMS. No one will be able to access your message content except the recipient. Dig into end-to-end encryption of RCS more here.  

On non-Google android devices (e.g. Samsung, LG, etc), users can download Google Messages and enable chat features to experience Google’s RCS.  

RCS uses your WIFI or mobile data. If you don’t have one of the two connections, your messaging will revert to SMS.  

RCS is built into your native Google texting app. WhatsApp, on the other hand, must be manually downloaded and requires an account. WhatsApp is also reliant on an internet connection. There are a handful of similar features in both, including large file sharing, group messaging, read receipts and typing indicators. 

Yes, RCS users will just be charged for any data usage just like other apps. The carriers and Google are still figuring pricing models, including business per-message fees. 

RCS will enable richer experiences for customers, allowing for things like high-quality video and image sharing, appointment setting, payment through the texting app and more. It opens new opportunities for sales and engagement and eliminates the need for third-party apps. 

Contact us

Want to chat with an expert from Zipwhip about RCS? Get in touch here.