SMS messaging is still a key technology for direct marketing and other communications, the Wireless Applications Service Providers’ Association of South Africa (WASPA) has said.

“SMS direct marketing hasn’t decreased in any other market where people have moved to over-the-top services for messaging,” WASPA chair James McNab said during a recent media event in Johannesburg.

The status of SMS as a core feature of a cellphone, and the fact that it is widely available, means it has remained a useful technology – even amidst the rise of mobile instant messaging applications.

On the topic of whether the new WhatsApp Business API might replace SMS for notifications and marketing messages, McNab said “Let’s see.”

He said it is difficult to offer a prediction, as the WhatsApp Business API rolled out everywhere at once. There aren’t more mature markets to look at for examples of how the launch of the API impacted SMS.

McNab said that receiving

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