TRAI reduces tariffs for USSD-based transactions to 50 paise per session

By : |November 23, 2016 0

For better financial inclusion, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has reduced tariffs for USSD-based mobile banking transactions to a third of existing rates.

Post demonetization of high currency notes, the government is making all the right moves to ensure smooth drive towards a cashless society. Thus, TRAI has now lowered the tariff to a maximum of 50 paise per transaction, each having 8 steps, from the earlier rate of Rs 1.50 per session, where each session comprised 5 steps.

“The USSD channel is being used by people with feature phones, which is more than 65 percent in India,” said TRAI chairman RS Sharma, adding that high price was one of the reasons behind the low usage of this medium for making mobile banking transactions.

                                 

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USSD or Unstructured Supplementary Service Data is a service that uses a shortcode for making transactions or inquiries – for instance, checking talk time balance or peer-to-peer money transfers, cash withdrawals and deposits from banking correspondents in smaller towns and rural areas.

Because this service requires no data connection, it is used by a large majority of people, primarily feature phone users and is therefore also used as a medium for no-frill banking transactions.

“We hope that the decision will increase the number of transactions by 10 times,” Sharma added.

Together, these amendments will facilitate the banks, their agents or any entity authorized by the Reserve Bank of India for better delivery of banking and payment services to the consumers through mobile phones over USSD, the regulator said.

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