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SMS is one of the most prevalent tool used in communication in this digital age and its reach has been instrumental in giving digital access to those far beyond the reach of the glorious internet. More also, the several use cases for SMS have also contributed in making life a bit more easier to live. From Farmers in the northern region in Accra, who get tips on how to best to grow their crops; to the millennials on the streets of Lagos, smiling to the bank, after receiving an “Alert”, SMS has got them all, and that’s powerful.

However, unlike phone calls where you pay per second talk time, why can’t SMS be billed per character?

If calls can be billed per second, (though some TELCO operators made it seem impossible at first ) then SMS can and should be billed per character. The cost of sending 160 characters can’t be the same for the cost of sending 1 character.

Case in point, merchants on the Loystar platform.  They shouldn’t have to pay twice the cost  of a “New product” SMS announcement just because they have an SMS size of 2, overshot just by 1 or 2 characters.


Loystar SMS campaign that should cost 379 units, is costing 2x the units due to the 2 characters highlighted.


Not a big deal when sending to 1 recipient, but when you have 300+ customers on your Loystar customer list, then that means something.

We think SMS billing has to be re-thought, but till then Loystar merchants have to get creative in making the most from their SMS units.

In the second part of this post, we would be sharing tips for sending effective SMS campaigns with fewer characters.


Loystar is merchant facing mobile app that helps small and medium businesses design and run loyalty programs quickly. 30 days trial and 300 SMS on offer, sign up here

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