In today’s world being connected with people is the key to any successful business. There is no question that mobile phones have become a legitimate tool for enhancing financial inclusion and continue to support mobile payments, m-commerce, m-banking, and other financial transactions. Thanks to SMS (Short Message Service) gateways and USSD codes (Unstructured Supplementary Services Data), communication technology has made life easier. Hence, these are the best available communications technology services for delivering mobile-friendly financial or banking services to low-income consumers.
USSD code, also known as “Quick Codes” or “Feature Codes”, is a text messaging protocol that is part of the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM). This platform uses the GSM network to transmit information to ordinary mobile phones. USSD uses characters from a mobile phone to create codes. As with USSD code applications, they are also supported by all phones and do not require complex processing hardware like iOS and Android. If you dial a number starting with * and ending with # for financial inclusion, you are using USSD. USSD is much like its companion service, Short Message Service (SMS). It is a vital communication service provided by mobile network operators at a low price and without requiring access to the user’s SIM card.
USSD code and its advantages:
An Unstructured Supplementary Service Data protocol, or USSD, is used by GSM mobile phones to interface with the service provider’s computer. The gateway consists of hardware and software required to connect two or more networks, including converting protocols. The mobile application can communicate bi-directionally with the handset over high-speed internet. Due to its inherent simplicity, session support, and high availability, it is an ideal way for subscribers to access their services at home and abroad.
The majority of USSD code queries are generated by cell phone users (such as balance inquiries). Afterward, the application responds to the request, and the process is reversed: the response goes back to the USSD Gateway, and the content of that response is displayed on your phone. A maximum of 182 alphanumeric characters is usually used in responses, which are usually sent in an easily readable format. There are no universally accepted formats for messages sent over USSD, so each operator can choose one that is most suitable for its customers.
Advantages of USSD Gateways:
- Customer feedback can be collected using surveys using USSD gateways.
- A real-time voting system can be applied in this case during polls.
- Services in the financial sector can be easily managed with mobile banking
- Querying and paying bills can be performed through Utility Services.
- A paid content portal allows subscribers to be charged for accessing content such as education notes, news headlines, sports highlights, or weather forecasts. A specific USSD code can be used for this.
- Retailers can send promotional offers and discount vouchers using a USSD code for next payments or purchases.
- A company can create a contest portal with entry pages, information about the competition, and terms and conditions.
- Authentication using two factors.
- Numerous USSD applications come with numerous benefits when used for marketing.
- To use a USSD code, the user does not have to connect to the Internet or use data.
- Mobile phones that support GSM standards can perform USSD. No smartphone is needed, so you will reach more people as not everyone owns a smartphone.
- The USSD protocol can be used on any mobile network. To function, it only needs to be connected to a GSM network since it does not need a mobile or SIM card.
- USSD is interactive; users can see responses on their phone screens and make multiple requests simultaneously, allowing them to communicate and interact seven times faster than SMS.
- This software is highly customizable, so it can be used for a variety of business purposes.
- Implementing and running USSD is very cost-effective for businesses, and subscribers are free to use it.
- Real-time USSD code responses are possible, and the content can be personalized.
- It is very user-friendly and can be used by anyone.
- You can access the USSD service at any time and from anywhere.
- A USSD code makes it easy for users to create portal structures that are simple for them to remember.
There are many advantages to SMS, including familiarity, accessibility on most phones, and being pushed to a person’s phone. In addition to providing the user with many options, USSD is also accessible and familiar, although its commercial viability may be limited in some countries due to timeouts.
At Flo, we enable businesses to build custom USSD code, WhatsApp, programmable SMS, and IVR solutions without requiring any technical expertise. No coding is required as we offer the full spectrum of services to help businesses and organizations automate their mundane tasks. Our system generates an easy to export web-hook that can be ported to the service provider of your choice for either USSD, WhatsApp, or programmable SMS. Get your business thriving by having hassle-free SMS & USSD Gateway services from Flo today.