In 2023, Mobilesquared research revealed that CPaaS providers viewed SMS as the ideal channel for all use cases (alerts, marketing & promotions, reminders, and security), as well as most trusted messaging channel overall. WhatsApp was viewed as a highly competitive alternative to SMS, but largely regarded as an up-and-coming channel.

Despite the furore that has surrounded SMS over the last 18 months (because of high termination rates and associated fraud), the CPaaS industry still expressed their faith in the channel and made it their number one channel for 2023. And considerably so it must be stated, with its usage almost double that of the next channel (email), and almost three-times greater than WhatsApp Business.

Similarly, the same split could be applied to the level of trust applied by CPaaS providers to each of the channels in 2023. Based on effectiveness SMS was viewed as more than double that of WhatsApp Business.

In the short-term, the research data indicated that the rise in fraud had not had an impact on how the CPaaS industry viewed SMS, and that the channel will remain a mainstay in brands’ and enterprises’ CPaaS usage.

By 2025 the world of the omnichannel is likely to undergo significant change, according to the CPaaS providers, with SMS’ dominance reduced and all-but wiped out by WhatsApp Business based on the metrics of usage, trust, and effectiveness applied by Mobilesquared during the research process.

Shifting SMS from the top spot will be no mean feat, given that even in 2025 SMS is expected to still be the number one CPaaS channel, but only marginally.

If we focus specifically on trust, by 2025, WhatsApp Business will be on the cusp of becoming the most trusted channel by the CPaaS community. Although SMS was not impacted in the short-term, the research data suggests SMS will be significantly impacted in the long term, and this is creating a bigger and faster opportunity for WhatsApp Business today. Allied to this is the fact that brands are now wanting to offer a more engaging and interactive experience when communicating with their customers.

What the research highlights is that if the current trajectories for each channel were extended into 2026, WhatsApp would become the number one channel for CPaaS providers, and the most trusted channel.

Get our full WhatsApp forecasts to 2027, for 200 global markets, in our report Monetising the World’s Biggest Rich Messaging Platform: WhatsApp API 2018-2927