Global versus Local?
There are many regional and international SMS aggregators and cloud communication providers who have the scale and reach to deliver your business messages across borders. But what these providers make up for in reach, they often lack in local knowledge. That’s where local messaging platforms really outshine their big, generic competitors.
Local providers usually offer the same features and delivery capabilities as international providers, but also bring an intimate knowledge of the local data privacy laws, local Mobile Network Operator business rules and restrictions, and the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) regulations.
They will also have local technical support that “speaks your language” and deliver a quick turn around on customer support requests with closer access to the local mobile operators. Local knowledge and expertise, however, should go further than simply understanding the rules. Local messaging specialists Promotexter have been working with the Philippines carriers for over a decade and have built relationships that allow us to participate in the process as changes are implemented. In recognition of this Smart Communications Inc. named Promotexter Philippines as its first and only certified A2P SMS messaging partner.
Your guide to choosing a provider in the Philippines
Here are the top 10 considerations when you are choosing a provider:
1. Local Contract
A local provider will operate under a contract governed by local laws. Your legal department will be more comfortable dealing with a company governed by the same laws as they operate under.
2. Local Privacy Laws
The Philippines has relatively mature data privacy laws and along with their implementing rules and regulations impose obligations to protect the data privacy of your customers. Companies are required to appoint a Data Protection Officer (DPO), perform Data Privacy audits and adhere to structures such as Data Processing Agreements (or Outsourcing Agreements) where they use third parties to process data.
Always ask your provider for their local DPO contact details, and check they are registered with the National Privacy Commission in the Philippines.
3. Local pricing
To secure the best pricing, connecting to a local provider means you are closer to the source, further down the value chain to the mobile operators. So with less hops delivering SMS to your customers, you can be assured of the best pricing opportunities. Promotexter offers SMS to the Philippines at just P0.50 or lower, depending on your monthly volumes.
4. Local payment options including local currency and invoicing
Using a local provider means you don’t need to be concerned about foreign exchange rates, final withholding tax, vat applicability and refunds. You can be assured of getting a local invoice and BIR Official Receipt.
Plus, you can also pay by local Credit Card, PayPal, GCash or local bank deposit.
5. Local support helpdesk
Although businesses worldwide communicate effectively in English, when it comes to talking to a support desk it’s extremely helpful if you can fallback to your native language.
On this point, many providers offer extended support – but the quality of actual support offered varies out of their normal business hours. A local provider has the same business hours as you and the local carriers, and will have their A-team available when you need them most.
Furthermore, because of our direct relationships, Promotexter can secure the fastest possible resolution times directly from the carriers.
6. Local Account Management
The more professional local providers will provide you not only a local customer service helpdesk but a local Account Manager who speaks your language and is always available to address your needs. This is particularly useful when you need advice on how best to integrate our campaign tools and messaging API’s into your business.
7. Product Features
Clearly there is no accounting for a sub-par product set. You need to be sure your provider can give you the features you need. Fortunately messaging is a relatively mature business and good local providers such as Promotexter can give you everything you need.
8. Local carrier requirements
Philippines mobile carriers are constantly making changes to the rules regarding whitelisting of Sender names, Letters of Authorisation for Brand names, filtering of messages, anti-spam and phishing measures etc. Only a local provider can stay across these real-time and ensure your messages are not blocked or impacted by the rules.
Promotexter is an internationally respected aggregator for delivery into the Philippines. Indeed we are a major carrier-agnostic delivery partner for many of the international providers. Even if you don’t send your SMS directly through us, there’s a good chance we’ll be the ones to deliver it to the carriers.
9. Understanding the local messaging mix – SMS/Viber/WhatsApp etc.
If you’re planning to take the step into IP messaging, it helps to understand the chat communities that are popular in your country. For example, Messenger is huge in the Philippines but does not support Bulk SMS marketing to your own customer base.
Viber is huge locally and provides a wide range of capabilities including rich content and chat messaging, so it makes sense to choose an official Viber Business Messaging partner like Promotexter.
Finally WhatsApp, whilst growing in popularity in the Philippines, is extremely pricey and strict about what can be sent over their channel. A local partner can help you understand what channels will work for your marketing or notification requirements.
10. Get started in seconds
Promotexter provides a quick and simple online sign up. With 5 free test credits to get started. Or contact one of our Account Managers for 100 free credits. Just reach out to us over Viber and we will be there to help.
With the rapidly changing marketing environment and the Covid “new normal”, you need to implement messaging into your overall marketing strategy, and with a local partner who knows the local Bulk SMS Philippines market.
Businesses like Promotexter and their international competitors try to make this as seamless for you as possible. But a local provider can help you in ways that an international player can’t.