• Monday, June 24, 2024
businessday logo


Fintechs embrace USSD to expand offline offerings

Fintechs embrace USSD to expand offline offerings

Fintech companies in Nigeria have begun to leverage Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) code to expand their offline offering and curb rising payment fraud in the economy.

The adoption of USSD codes by fintech companies such as Moniepoint, a payment company, is a significant step towards financial inclusion. It ensures smartphone users can easily secure their banking transactions without internet access.

Read also: Investment in digital platforms boosting customer acquisition — Fintechs

According to Moniepoint, this service, accessible via an account control code *5573#, is a security measure against unauthorised access. It safeguards customer funds in case of loss or theft of mobile phones, ATM Cards, or hardware tokens and in situations where account details may be compromised.

“This code empowers customers to secure their accounts promptly from any mobile device, without needing to contact the bank, especially in cases of suspected fraud,” Moniepoint said.

The fintech further disclosed that its USSD banking suite includes various services such as funds transfer, airtime and data purchase, account balance and details inquiry, PIN management, and account security measures like blocking/unblocking access for oneself or others.

The adoption rate of USSD codes by fintech platforms like OPay, Palmpay, and Moniepoint has been instrumental in driving the country towards its cashless ambitions. The Central Bank of Nigeria reported a significant increase in USSD transfers, from N2.9 trillion in 2020 to N4.49 trillion in 2022.

Read also: Analysis: How telcos, fintechs are driving Nigeria’s mobile money growth

In 2022, USSD was used 516 million times, indicating growth in digital transactions. Also, the growth of USSD banking has been aided by the growing adoption of mobile phones. According to the Nigeria Communication Commission (NCC), active telephony subscribers rose to 214.8 million as of January 2024.