RCS (Rich Communication Services) business messaging traffic is currently low. However, it seems to have been unhindered by the pandemic and it is now set to soar over the next five years. Indeed, Juniper Research believes that the total number of RCS users will rise to 1.2 billion by the end of 2020, with significant uptake coming from North America and the Far east & China. This has largely been driven by continuing increased support from both operators and the uptake of RCS-capable smartphones, as users upgrade handsets.
The Acquiring Market
In a world economy fundamentally altered by the COVID-19 pandemic, card transactions are more important than ever, as economies try to further reduce the use of cash and encourage the use of contactless payments. As such, acquirers have a more important role than ever before in ensuring seamless card acceptance across an increasingly greater range of merchants. Not only is acquiring more important than before, but also many smaller businesses are beginning to accept card for the first time, meaning this is a highly important time for acquirers to focus on their solutions. This rapid focusing of attention can be seen in the significant growth of contactless transactions values identified in Figure 1, in data from Juniper Research.
Smart devices in the home are now a mainstay feature. It has been almost six years since the release of the Amazon Echo. Now, voice assistants, produced by numerous providers, are just one of various smart devices smart home meters, smart entertainment systems and smart security systems that have penetrated the market and continue to rise in popularity. Indeed, there will be almost 13.5 billion smart home devices in active use by 2025, compared to an expected 7.4 billion at year end 2020.