Global USSD Blog

Mobile Banking In Developed & Developing Countries Part 1

by Nikita Tekutiev on May 3, 2015

Having survived the crisis of 2008-2009, banks no longer want the risk associated with interest rates. Banks want customer loyalty, want to get the transaction and commission income streams that do not depend on fluctuations in the credit market. For them it’s the main driver in a rapidly changing market. Banks are turning into IT companies with banking licenses.

Forrester Research found that many banks continue to neglect marketing, sales and product research on tablets and smartphones. But even with this Forrester predicts that in 2015 more than twice customers in comparison with 2014 will investigate financial products through mobile devices.

The percentage of customers who will purchase new financial products through mobile devices, will also grow. The role of generation Y, which values the creative approach and becomes a major consumer of financial products in the future is especially important.

Customers used to come to a bank office at most once a month, more often – once a quarter, to solve their problems. The bank had only a few contacts with customers during the year, and these contacts were times when the bank was able to sell something.

With the advent of online banking contacts increased, it began to occur once every one to two weeks. The client comes to the Internet, pay bills there, transfer money, checks something.

The next step is related to the continued rapid growth of social networking, mobilization, the penetration of smartphones. People are used that a very large part of their interaction with the outside world is through mobile phones. All kinds of social networks, news, notice, personal and corporate email, chat with people, messengers – many things began to occur through the gadget, which is in the pocket and is constantly close to someone 24/7.

For the bank, this means that he has a 24/7 point of access to the client. This gives an opportunity to radically increase the number of contacts with the client. The bank has to make sure that the client would want to interact with it. It is clear that if it takes a long time to log in into mobile banking only to check the balance, a customer would still do it only once a week.

In the next post we’ll talk about easy accessible and affordable ways that banks can use to reach any person with a mobile phone and vice-versa. Stay tuned.

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Nikita TekutievMobile Banking In Developed & Developing Countries Part 1

Global USSD Platform: Principles Of Mobile Marketing Part 2

by Nikita Tekutiev on April 17, 2015

Following the previous post, let’s continue to observe principles we use when approaching mobile marketing with Global USSD platform:

Interactivity. Interactivity allows to develop and maintain a mobile marketing channel, using a personal approach to each client. Global USSD Platform uses USSD as a main channel of interaction with users. USSD in itself is an interactive technology, as unlike SMS, users receive response after the input almost immediately. That, and combination of other technologies like SMS, and WAP/WEB, allows keeping a user engaged and delivering timely information.

Availability. When creating a mobile marketing technologies we believe that the service should be clear to anyone who has a cell phone and who knows how to make a call (regardless of skill to use a mobile phone). That’s why we stick to basic mobile technologies, which can work on any mobile device. That helps avoiding fragmentation and reach literally all users of mobile devices. The combination of USSD and SMS might not seem fancy in 2015, but it is still the most powerful when it comes down to real life functionality and reachability.

Contextual approach. Global USSD mobile marketing tools allow you to organize advertising campaigns so that all advertising and marketing messages are always sent in a certain context. In this case, the context is set by a user. Using this approach, advertising is seen as a useful additional functional service, which greatly improves its efficiency.

Engagement. Our mobile marketing technologies are built in such a way that consumers begin to use the service to meet their needs, thus opening a channel for personalized marketing communications.

No spam. Our platform technologies helps to completely eliminate spam as both unethical and often illegal form of mobile marketing communication. Mobile phone is the most personal way of communication with the consumer, spam is perceived as an invasion of privacy. Therefore, we are against spam.

Measurability. Makes it possible to accurately measure the effectiveness of each service according to different parameters.

These principles transformed into our Global USSD Platform for mobile marketing, which you can learn more about by contacting us here. Stay tuned for more.

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Nikita TekutievGlobal USSD Platform: Principles Of Mobile Marketing Part 2

RBI: “Enable Customers To Get Onboard The Mobile Banking Platform”

by Nikita Tekutiev on April 7, 2015

Last year, TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) came out with a guideline paper on USSD based mobile banking services. The reason TRAI recommended USSD was because a considerable amount of population in India, especially in rural areas didn’t have access to banks. USSD also fits the goal of financial inclusion, as it doesn’t require data connection and works on any mobile phone, which makes it accessible even to poor classes of population.

Now, RBI (Reserve Bank of India) has asked banks to make all possible efforts to enable customers to get onboard the mobile banking platform. This is to bring down operational costs and improve banks’ efficiency. There are certain obstacles that RBI points out: “There are differences in procedures adopted by banks for registering customers for mobile banking as well as in the channels of delivery and authentication process. Lack of awareness as well as standardization of procedures at banks also adds up to the problems, which has led to a slow pickup of mobile banking service, despite the high mobile density in the country.”

RBI has asked banks to make serious efforts to increase awareness and has said that efforts should be made at every interaction – ATMs, branches and passbook printing counters to obtain customers mobile number. “If all customers come on board the mobile banking platform, a significant load will be taken off bank branches if customers use mobile banking for balance enquiry and remittances,” said a bank official.

While there are no particular requirements to mobile banking services from RBI, the obstacles that RBI mentions, such as lack of standardization, can be solved by using USSD. That’s why TRAI tried to push it last year. USSD solves to basic issue of fragmentation among mobile phone users. Banks can reach all clients, regardless of their phone manufacturer and mobile OS, by using USSD technology as a basis for mobile banking.

Currently, there are 900 million mobile phone users in India, and only 40 million are using their phones for mobile banking. India takes the fourth place in top 10 global smartphone markets. According to GSMA, India had 111 million smartphone connections in the second quarter of 2014. Considering the total population of the country, these figures are very low. That’s why USSD is the go-to technology for financial inclusion, as it works both on basic feature phones and latest smartphones.

We have an experience in implementing mobile banking services based on USSD with top financial institutions in Russia, and other USSD services around the world. Contact us here if you are interested in our platform for building financial services.

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Nikita TekutievRBI: “Enable Customers To Get Onboard The Mobile Banking Platform”

Global USSD Platform: Principles Of Mobile Marketing Part 1

by Nikita Tekutiev on March 26, 2015

In his post for Mobile Marketing Watch, Hanit Marinov, VP of Marketing at Perion Network, states five marketing trends to watch for in 2015. I would like to point out two of them:

Importance of an Omnichannel Approach. “Mobile-first is a convenient marketing slogan, but it’s not entirely accurate. The omnichannel approach, which is already being pushed by Google and adopted by major retailers, will become more popular in 2015. Rather than focusing on mobile devices because they are popular or trendy, the savvy marketer will focus on their audience. And the likelihood is that most audiences will be coming from multiple devices, from tablets to smartphones, laptops, and desktops. Omnichannel marketing will accommodate for users no matter which direction they come from or where they are in the marketing funnel.”

Mobile Marketing Platforms Will Enter the Spotlight. “Mobile marketing has become a bit of a mess. The current fragmented state of the industry shows us countless ad networks, ad exchanges, and a complex advertising process. These obstacles make it difficult for mobile advertisers to keep up with the industry, reach their customers, and calculate returns. In 2015, these platforms will come into their own and quickly become necessary for those mobile advertisers that wish to stay ahead of the competition.”

These are principles that exactly correlate with our approach to mobile marketing here at Global USSD. Our platform is used for marketing by the largest mobile operator on the territory of Eastern Europe – MTS. Here are some of our basic principles of mobile marketing:

Integration with other media. Elements of mobile marketing can be easily integrated into existing marketing strategies. For example, you can place a short Call2Service number on a billboard, which a customer can use to learn more about the advertised product, get a coupon for a discount, etc. We don’t advocate for mobile as a sole advertising instrument, rather, it is a convergence point for different types of media used for advertising.

Personalization. Advertising must be relevant, focused on a particular consumer. Such advertising can be created by using the preferences of users, their behavior, and personal information (gender, age, region, etc.)

Our principles goes hand in hand with available functionality. In the next posts we will talk more about our platform for mobile marketing. Stay tuned.

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Nikita TekutievGlobal USSD Platform: Principles Of Mobile Marketing Part 1

Alfa Bank USSD Banking Application By Eyeline Communications

by Nikita Tekutiev on March 5, 2015

On 1st of December 2014 clients of Alfa-Bank officially were presented with an unique service on Russian banking market – USSD Mobile Bank “Alfa Dialog”, a full-fledged mobile banking application, which can be accessed by means of USSD technology.

Alfa Bank OJSC, the corporate treasury of the Alfa Group, is the largest private commercial bank in Russia. Headquartered in Moscow, it operates in seven countries, providing financial services to over 40,000 active corporate customers and 5.3 million retail clients.

To access you just need to dial a shortcode *142# from your phone and press call. In response to the received service menu the users needs to enter requested information for a corresponding service.

Functionality that is available today through “Alfa Dialog”:

  • Credit/debit card balance check;
  • Mobile airtime top up;
  • Money transfer between Alfa Bank cards;
  • Money transfer between your accounts;
  • Receipt by SMS;
  • Information on loans, loans payment;
  • Block or unblock lost cards;
  • Holders of multiple cards can map their card to different accounts;

“Now for the real-time access to banking services via the telephone, you don’t need to install a mobile app, just dial *142# and press call. The service works on any mobile phone, without access to the Internet, with a negative balance, and in roaming operator won’t charge the client for the use of the service” – says Head of Payment Services Development Alfa-Bank’s Eugene Ievlev.

Alfa Bank held a free pilot of the service for customers for one year. The results obtained in the pilot project, allows making an unambiguous conclusion about relevance of the offer: monthly increase in the customer base is 70-100%, the number of transactions through the “Alfa-Dialog” is growing by 50% every month. Conducted survey says that 98% of users are happy to use the proposed service and plan to use it in the future.

The service is based on Global USSD platform and this is just one example how with Global USSD you can create any service on USSD technology. If you are interested in similar projects contact us here. Stay tuned for more information.

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Nikita TekutievAlfa Bank USSD Banking Application By Eyeline Communications

Use Cases Of USSD Based Services From Around The World

by Nikita Tekutiev on February 27, 2015

India

Suburban commuters in India will be able to buy daily train tickets and renew season tickets using an app on mobile phones. Central Railway’s chief commercial manager RD Sharma said, “Money for buying the tickets will have to be loaded through the R-wallet mobile payment technology. Users will receive a code in the form of an SMS. The code will have to be flashed at the printing kiosk at the originating station to get a printout of the ticket.”  A user can book unreserved tickets for second and first class for long-distance trains as well. Through the cellphone app, it will also be possible to cancel tickets.

The application is available for Android, Windows and iOS.  You can use the service from any OS or simple feature phones by dialling *139# and getting USSD version of the service.

Russia, Moscow

Residents of the capital can now receive receipts for utility services through SMS. Also, residents will be able to receive information via USSD-service. To subscribe, you need to dial *377*5*5*3 #. In June 2014 the portal “active citizen” has passed survey on the abandonment of paper receipts. 76.4% of respondents were in favor of replacing paper bills with electronic.

Africa

MFS Africa has launched Zem Aussur – a mobile insurance product for drivers of motorcycle taxis, known as zémidjans. MFS Africa is a leader in providing mobile financial services across the African continent to un- and under-banked individuals. Zem Assur, a unique, affordable, and accessible mobile insurance service, covers zem drivers’ medical and pharmacy expenses, permanent disability, and death resulting from road accidents.

Customers sign up for Zem Assur coverage via their mobile phones by entering a simple USSD code, and pay 5000 FCFA for one year of coverage.

Russia, Tver

Service “Mobile Banking” of Sberbank, the largest bank in Russia, is a multi-optional service that can be accessed through USSD. You can top up your airtime in a few seconds, by dialing a short USSD-request *900* 00#. After that, the bank card connected to the “Mobile bank” is charged, and your airtime is automatically topped up by 100 rubles. In this case, the service is available even at negative balance.

These are just a few cases of using USSD for various services. Stay tuned for more.

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Nikita TekutievUse Cases Of USSD Based Services From Around The World

Mobile Self Service Portal For Your Business Based On USSD

by Nikita Tekutiev on February 18, 2015

Following the previous topic about popularity of text messaging and desire of customers to contact customer service via messaging, we present our product based on USSD technology – Eyeline Mobile Self Service Portal. If your customer care service is based on this product, your customer can use any mobile device to contact you.

The principle of USSD Self Service is simple:

  1. User calls to a phone number (for example, 8800 XXXXXXX) or dials a simple USSD command (as in the balance inquiry, such as *111#).
  2. Receives USSD menu of the service
  3. Selects the desired functionality/information from different sub menus.

The fact that the user is interested and actively participates in the process of obtaining information creates additional opportunities for Mobile Self Service as an effective advertisement channel. For example, in service containing addresses of sports clubs, placing contextual advertising on discounts on the purchase of a club card will help convey information to the relevant category of consumers and will not be perceived by them as unwanted spam.

The product is backed up by our Global USSD platform, which provides management and delivery of services. It enables instant and personalized information delivery to your customers, as well as an opportunity to inform about your marketing activities and latest offers. Detailed usage statistics service allows to segment and generate targeted offers to customers. Thus, you get a powerful tool for direct communication with your customers. The service can also serve as an additional source of revenue, if you decide to charge a monthly fee for it.

USSD is a secure technology that have a number of advantages over SMS:

  • As USSD is a session-based technology, so USSD messages are not stored in phone’s memory or on SIM cards.
  • The system always knows if USSD message is delivered or not. Response of a user also can be seen almost immediately.
  • Interactive authentication in real time which allows to forget about fraud SMS.


Global USSD is a platform that can serve as an intermediate to deliver such USSD portals from your infrastructure to mobile subscribers. If you are interested to learn more, contact us here.

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Nikita TekutievMobile Self Service Portal For Your Business Based On USSD

Use USSD For Customer Self Care Portals – Perfect In The Era Of Texting

by Nikita Tekutiev on February 6, 2015

A recent study from business communications company OneReach reveals that two out of three consumers with text messaging capability would rather communicate with customer service of your company via text as opposed to email or phone. 81% of people are frustrated being tied to a phone or computer for customer service and 64% of people who text prefer it for customer service. Here are the reasons why people want to text:

  1. 44% would rather text customer service than stay on hold
  2. Checking order status
  3. Make or confirm reservations
  4. Ask a question
  5. Find a store location
  6. Check balances or due dates
  7. Refill orders
  8. Reset passwords

The good news is that desire of customers and their perception (40% believe a texting company is progressive, 28% would recommend texting company to others, 21% would choose texting company over non-texting, 23% would stay loyal to texting company) can also help businesses to reduce expenses. Call centers require workplaces and licenses and it doesn’t make sense to base your whole support on them when 80% of customer requests can be automated.

A customer can actually do the work previously performed by the employee. Thus, self-service systems reduce number of employees, raise sales by simplifying the process of interaction with the consumer, attract new customers and thus improve the overall financial performance of your business.

We implemented self care portal and other services based on USSD for the largest mobile operator in the Eastern Europe – MTS. Everyday 100 million MTS subscribers use Balance Check, change their tariff plans, and subscribe to services without calling any IVR systems or call centers. As a result of this, MTS reduced number of their call centers from ten to just one!

This technology can be used by any businesses, not just mobile operators. To take advantage of such system a user needs a mobile phone. In this case, it does not matter the level of user skills, model of mobile device, or mobile operator. He/she does not need to download or install any applications.

We will talk about our USSD Self Care system and its advantages for businesses and customers in next posts. Stay tuned.

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Nikita TekutievUse USSD For Customer Self Care Portals – Perfect In The Era Of Texting

Alfa Bank USSD Banking Application By Eyeline Communications

by Nikita Tekutiev on January 25, 2015

On 1st of December 2014 clients of Alfa-Bank officially were presented with an unique service on Russian banking market – USSD Mobile Bank “Alfa Dialog”, a full-fledged mobile banking application, which can be accessed by means of USSD technology.

Alfa Bank OJSC, the corporate treasury of the Alfa Group, is the largest private commercial bank in Russia. Headquartered in Moscow, it operates in seven countries, providing financial services to over 40,000 active corporate customers and 5.3 million retail clients.

To access you just need to dial a shortcode *142# from your phone and press call. In response to the received service menu the users needs to enter requested information for a corresponding service.

Functionality that is available today through “Alfa Dialog”:

  • Credit/debit card balance check;
  • Mobile airtime top up;
  • Money transfer between Alfa Bank cards;
  • Money transfer between your accounts;
  • Receipt by SMS;
  • Information on loans, loans payment;
  • Block or unblock lost cards;
  • Holders of multiple cards can map their card to different accounts;

“Now for the real-time access to banking services via the telephone, you don’t need to install a mobile app, just dial *142# and press call. The service works on any mobile phone, without access to the Internet, with a negative balance, and in roaming operator won’t charge the client for the use of the service” – says Head of Payment Services Development Alfa-Bank’s Eugene Ievlev.

Alfa Bank held a free pilot of the service for customers for one year. The results obtained in the pilot project, allows making an unambiguous conclusion about relevance of the offer: monthly increase in the customer base is 70-100%, the number of transactions through the “Alfa-Dialog” is growing by 50% every month. Conducted survey says that 98% of users are happy to use the proposed service and plan to use it in the future.

The service is based on Global USSD platform and this is just one example how with Global USSD you can create any service on USSD technology. If you are interested in similar projects contact us here. Stay tuned for more information.

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Nikita TekutievAlfa Bank USSD Banking Application By Eyeline Communications