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Tuesday, 23 May 2017

How to use USSD-based mobile banking

How to use USSD-based mobile banking, here’s everything you should know

Regional language support in USSD mobile banking

The service aims to make mobile banking easier for rural users, especially the non-English speaking ones. It is available in 11 regional languages and can be accessed in the desired language using the following short codes. Hindi (*99*22#), Marathi (*99*28#), Bengali (*99*29#), Punjabi (*99*30#), Kannada (*99*26#), Gujarati (*99*27#), Tamil (*99*23#), Telugu (*99*24#), Malayalam (*99*25#), Oriya (*99*32#) and Assamese (*99*31#)

USSD banking daily transaction limit and charges

According to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the USSD payment method can be used for sending money as low as Re 1, and as much as Rs 5,000 per transaction. Coming to charges, you will be charged Rs 0.50 per transaction, which will be added in your mobile bill. The service works 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. However, carriers have waived off the transaction charges till December 31.

How to use USSD codes

To begin with, open the dialer app on your phone, type *99# and dial. In case you want to menu’s in regional language, say in Hindi or in Gujarati, you need to dial *99*22# or *99*27#, respectively.
ussd mobile banking language
You will see the welcome screen after which you will have to enter first three letters, or IFSC code or 2-digit bank code followed by send. For State Bank of India (SBI), the three letters will be SBI, for ICICI Bank it will be ICI, whereas for HDFC Bank it will be HDF, and so on. In case of IFSC code, State Bank of India has SBIN, ICICI Bank has ICIC, HDFC Bank has HDFC and so on.
ussd mobile banking check balance
So, if you have your mobile banking registered with HDFC Bank, type HDF or HDFC and tap send. It will verify your phone number and bank details, and open bring up the sub-menu. Here, you will have options to check your account balance, check mini statement, or send money using MMID or IFSC. There is also an option to change the default MPIN that you get from the bank. If you want to check your account balance, enter ‘1’ in numerical and tap send, similarly for mini statement, enter ‘2’ and tap send.

How to transfer money using USSD short codes

In this example, I’ve used HDFC bank account to send money to my colleague using his MMID number. So, let’s see how to go about it.
Step 1: Dial *99#, type bank name, and when the interface opens, enter ‘3’ and tap send.
ussd mobile banking mmid
Step 2: Enter beneficiary mobile number.
ussd mobile banking enter benificiary number
Step 3: Enter beneficiary MMID, which you will have to get from the person you are sending money to.
ussd mobile banking enter benificiary mmid
Step 4: Next, you need to enter amount and remarks (separated by space). For instance, I transferred Rs 5 to test how this worksso it looks like “5 Test”
ussd mobile banking enter amount and remarks
Step 5: In the final step, you have to enter your MPIN to authorize the transaction and last 4 digits of your account number (separated by space), and tap on send. That’s it, once your transaction is authorized, the money will be instantly credited to the recipients account.
ussd mobile banking error

USSD banking limitations

While the service does enable non-smartphone and non-internet users to send money using their phones, it is quite a tedious process. To begin with, once the USSD popup notification arrives, you have to respond within 10 seconds, or the process will get cancelled. When I was testing, I struggled to reach to step five as it would often throw an error saying ‘External application down.’ It gets quite annoying as you have to start over again, and again at such times. Having said that, the service still seems in its nascent stages and improvements could be expected going forward.

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