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Indian Consumers Will Soon Get USSD Based Banking Services, Operators Not Happy

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In an effort to promote accessibility to banking services, the NaMo government had a rendezvous with the telecom companies. The agenda of the meeting was to discuss to introduce USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data) so that users can access their bank accounts even without the internet connectivity and smartphones.

Services like PIN change, funds transfer, payment of low value bills, bank passbook request and balance enquiries and many more such simple services can be availed by any person having bank account and an ordinary handset. [Via]

USSD based Banking

Already many telecoms like Airtel, Vodafone and Idea have already introduced mobile banking services to pay utility bills, availing recharges etc, so the operators were reluctant at first as their mobile banking services will lose it’s revenue to the new USSD operations. Though USSD is technologically outdated, it’s re-debut will ensures many facilities the “wallet services” lack. Given that the smartphone population is building up, the number of people still using basic model handsets is comparatively larger. With USSD system, you can transfer funds and receive from different bank accounts using your mobile. Also with the ease in using banking services, the cost of setting up ATMs will also reduce.

Keeping in mind these benefits, the common man can keep a track of his bank account without having to go to the bank without worrying about the bank timings and bank holidays. Kudos to this initiative from the new Government!

Though the telecom operators are upset about having to lose their market share in “wallet services”, they have reluctantly signed a pact with National Payments Corporation of India (NPC) to avail the service.

Setting up the USSD system in partnership with banks is quite an upsetting move for Telecom Operators. However recognizing the importance of providing such a service, the operators seemed to have agreed after TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) raised the per transaction costs to Rs. 1.50. The banks will have to work on their service and easy access, for now, telecoms will only provide an access to the respective banks.

This USSD based service is yet to be implemented and PM Narendra Modi will give the green signal at the end of this week. Though the telecoms are not really happy with this, the common man will put out his verdict after the service has been launched.

What is your take on basic banking services on USSD?

  1. […] Though the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has been urging the telecom companies to enable bank authorized mobile payment companies to offer such services for a long time, most of them have not been too willing to co-operate on that issue. […]

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