For your on-demand app to succeed, it requires a combination of cutting-edge technology, easily usable features and innovation packed into it. In the initial stages, it is recommended that you decide on the software integrations carefully based on your idea, which would place you ahead of other players and would also be an all-new offering in the market.

Read on to learn about how to choose the best SMS and Voice API for your mobile app to help you succeed in the on-demand market. You should compare all the features that are available without taking into consideration any other factors. Before jumping into side-by-side comparisons of API providers, let’s first ask some foundational questions:

Is VOIP and Text SMS integration essential for your on-demand mobile app?

Definitely, integration of VOIP and Text SMS for your on-demand mobile app is essential.

Without the integration, your mobile app would be similar to a mobile phone that does not have a SIM card. You would not be able to make use of SMS and VOIP services for the on-demand app, which his highly required to facilitate communication with the users. By having such integrations in place, users would be well informed and thereby, your service quality will boost drastically. Listed below are some of the important uses of VOIP and SMS integration:

Provide OTP and Verification Calls

To ensure that the registrations and users are genuine, you would have to verify their mobile numbers when they are signing up or placing an order. This can be done without any hassles when you make use of an API to do the job.

Texts and Calls from within the app

If you wish to communicate with your mobile app users, it can be done from within the app by using API integration and the entire communication can be done seamlessly. These integrations can be used across any platform, be it iOS or Android.

Notifications based on events

When customers place orders or there is any update regarding their order, it is essential that you notify them on time. By sending out real-time notifications, the quality of customer service can be improved greatly and the entire process can be automated when you make use of APIs.

Masking of Numbers

When communication has to happen between the company and the customer, a high level of privacy is required and thus, the numbers should not be visible. By making use of APIs, you can hide your number and also of the customer, so that no privacy issues arise.

Send out broadcast messages

If you are running any promotional campaigns, offers or if you have to notify all the customers regarding anything, you would have to send out broadcast messages that reach all your customers or a particular group of customers. This can be done by using the Text SMS API.

Due to the above mentioned factors, integration of API to facilitate voice calls and SMS are highly essential. Let us now look into the various options available for APIs.

Factors that need to be taken into consideration before choosing an API

  • Stability: If the API works all the time without any issues.
  • Pricing: If the costs incurred in API is feasible and within the budget.
  • Verification: The method used by the API for verification, which can either be a voice call or by sending a OTP.
  • Fixed Number: If they are providing you with a dedicated number or not, which is entirely based on your preference.
  • Delivery Reports: Reports that indicate if the intended messages/broadcasts have reached the recipients or not.
  • Local Availability:  If the API works without issues in your region/country of operation.
  • Complexity: The ease with which the API can be integrated to your app.

Some of the leading Voice and SMS API providers in the Android and iOS platforms with the pricing:

We bring to you a comparison of the 4 major SMS and Voice API providers: Twilio, Sinch, Nexmo and Plivo. Also, the prices compared are in the USA market and the list of features provided by each API is also mentioned. By going through the details provided about the API providers, you would be able to decide easily on the API that would be best-suited for your mobile app.

Other essential factors that need to be taken into consideration

The indicated prices are only for the USA market and you would have to check with the availability and pricing in your respective countries of operation. Make sure that you check out all the features.

Read on to know more about each API provider along with their features.

Twilio API

  • The SMS package is pre-defined and the cost for the initial 5 million messages is $0.0075 per SMS and the next 20 million messages will be charged at $0.004 per SMS.
  • There are different packages available for MMS, Shortcodes etc.
  • They have their own product known as Authy which is used for two-way authentication.
  • The price for a local number is $1 per month and a toll-free number will be charged at $2 monthly.
  • Recording calls will be charged at $0.0035 per minute while call storage would be charged at $0.0005 per minute.
  • Basic conference calls can be done for free. International conference calls will be charged $0.0020 for each participant for every minute.
  • Leading corporations such as Uber, Instacart, Coca-Cola and PayPal make use of Twilio.

Sinch API

  • Calling within the app is free for up to 25,000 minutes following which the cost would be $0.005 per minute.
  • Phone calls made from the app would be charged at $0.01 per minute.
  • Incoming SMS is free in Sinch.
  • All verifications made will be charged $0.0075 per verification.
  • SMS are free sup to 25,000 messages per month following which every message would cost $0.0035.
  • Companies such as Truecaller, Spylt, BeepMe, Tango and Swedbank make use of Sinch.

Nexmo API

  • The best feature of Nexmo is that all incoming messages are free.
  • Verifications are charged at $0.1350 per verification.
  • Both toll free number and normal number are available for the same price: $0.90 monthly.
  • Sharing of short codes are free on Nexmo.
  • Short code incoming messages are charged at $0.005 per SMS.
  • Companies such as Alibaba, Viber, Expedia, Zipcar and Airbnb make use of Nexmo.

Plivo API

  • Call Recording and Call storage are available for free in Plivo.
  • Outgoing calls are charged at $0.0030 while incoming calls are charged at $0.0210 coming from toll-free numbers.
  • There is no charge for either short code or long code incoming messages.
  • Delivery reports are available on a real-time basis.
  • Short code numbers are charged at $4500 for 3 months.
  • Companies such as Homejoy, Mozilla, Pagerduty, Netflix and CallHub make use of Plivo.

The Verdict: Twilio or Nexmo or Plivo or Sinch?

Ultimately, before integrating an API to your mobile app, you would have to take into consideration several factors based on your usage and requirements. If you are willing to settle for a basic solution, you can choose between Plivo or Nexmo as the costs are less. If you are riding high on funds, Twilio would be the best possible option.

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