Not so many bank customers are familiar with the term, USSD code. This explains why the numerous services that the Deposit Money Banks render via the USSD codes are not enjoyed by millions of customers in the country. Hence, the convenience and comfort that come with banking services enjoyed via the USSD codes are not the experience of many bank customers.
It is unfortunate that millions of lettered bank customers deprive themselves of this privilege and comfort. To start with, we need to understand what the USSD code means.
What is USSD code?
The USSD code is sometimes referred to as “Quick Codes” or “Feature codes.” It is a protocol used by GSM cellular telephones to communicate with the service providers’ computers.
The USSD is simply a code that you enter on your phone to enable you enjoy certain banking services. These are services that could have otherwise taken you to the banking hall, the ATM, or an Internet-connected desktop, laptop, iPad or smartphone for Internet banking.
By simply entering a USSD code (designated by your bank) on your small phone that is not even connected to the Internet, you can enjoy several banking services that otherwise may have necessitated you going to the banking hall, an ATM or an Internet-connected computer. The USSD code is simply a combination of figures and signs that you enter on your phone that enables you to enjoy banking services. It comes like these *408#, #454#, *193* etc.
Now, what is the USSD? The full meaning of the term is Unstructured Supplementary Service Data. It is an Information and Communications Technology term that has come into banking services in Nigeria in recent times.
The USSD is a Global System for Mobile communication technology that is used to send a text message between a mobile phone and an application programme in the network.
Deposit Money Banks have deployed this technology to make banking services easier for customers and lenders alike. Through the deployment of certain USSD codes, banks have made it possible for their customers to be able to enjoy certain basic banking services rendered in the banking hall, through Automated Teller Machines, as well as via Internet banking.
Even some of the services rendered through banks’ call centres can be enjoyed by simply entering designated USSD codes on one’s mobile phone.
Almost all the 20 banks in the country have developed USSD codes for certain services. It is up to the customer to get in touch with his or her bank to get the designated USSD codes for certain services. In the meantime, it is important to know some of the services a customer can enjoy from his bank by simply entering a USSD code on his phone. Here are some of the services a customer can enjoy via the USSD codes:
By simply entering a USSD code, you can send money to family members and acquaintances’ bank accounts in seconds. For example, Guaranty Trust Bank has done a lot of advertisements and media campaigns to make its *737* USSD code very popular. Through this code, GTBank customers can send as much as N200,000 to the accounts of friends, relatives, family members and acquaintances. It is possible to do this irrespective of whether such fund receiver is a customer of GTBank or any of the other 19 commercial banks in the country. Through the USSD code, funds can be sent to microfinance bank accounts. First Bank has also made efforts to make popular its USSD code *894*, which is used for airtime top-up on mobile phones.
Bank customers do not need to bother themselves anytime they run out of airtime on their mobile phones and there is no airtime vendor in the vicinity. Through designated USSD codes, a customer can simply buy as much airtime as he wants. It has made the era of getting stranded due to lack of recharge time over. This airtime top-up is done directly from your account. By simply entering the USSD code designated by your bank, your telephone line gets airtime credit automatically and then your account is debited.