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*99# USSD – Towards a Cashless Economy

Published on Thursday, December 15, 2016
*99# USSD – Towards a Cashless Economy


Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) (*99#) is a mobile banking service that allows customers to access the financial and non-financial services of the banks.

Agencies Concerned

National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) is the nodal agency of USSD
USSD establishes a network between Banks and Telecom Service Providers (TSP)

About USSD

USSD technology is a GSM standard for transmitting information providing session-based communication in the banking services
Customer has to register their mobile number with their bank 
Customer access financial services by dialling *99# from their mobiles registered with their bank accounts
USSD works exclusively on all GSM handsets
USSD links the benefits of the telecommunication network to make financial and banking transactions easier.

USSD Features

No internet is required for its operations
Uses voice based connectivity
Very simple to use
Available to all GSM mobile users through a common code ‘*99#’ across all TSPs
No roaming charges charged in addition to the ordinary service
Works round the clock on all days including holidays
USSD will act as a key financial inclusion measure of GOI
Customer need not install any new apps to avail this service

USSD Services

USSD offers three main types of services to customers including
Non-Financial and 
Value added services

Financial Services

Financial services include fund transfers in the means of 
P2P – Person to Person
P2A – Person to Account
P2U – Person to UID

Non-Financial Services

Mini Statement
Balance Enquiry
Generate OTP

What is MMID?

MMID is the 7 digit code given by the bank to the user while registering for mobile banking
Value-added Services
Aadhar based money transaction (*99*99#)

How to use USSD?

Customer has to dial *99# from their mobile
Welcome screen appears
Customer has to enter their bank IFSC first 4 letters or short name of Bank in 3 letters
Various options pop up for the user
The user has to select the appropriate option and complete their transaction
For fund transactions or transfers using MMID and mobile number, both the sender and the receiver must have registered their mobile numbers in their banks
However, the receiver need not have to register their mobile numbers in their banks for receiving money using Aadhar number or account number from the sender


USSD is charged by TSPs from the customers 
A maximum rate of Rs. 1.50 per transaction is set by TRAI
This charge will form a major hindrance for common man to switch to USSD
RBI has initially set a restriction of transacting only 5000 rupees per transaction
NPCI must make this USSD totally free of cost to achieve the cashless economy as promised by Prime Minister Mr Modi


USSD is a major initiative of NPCI to move towards a cashless economy like the USA
USSD enhances financial inclusion to a great extent
It helps India to move to digital revolution helping in ‘Digital India’ mission
Moving to a cashless economy will help curb black money, corruption etc
USSD is a positive step forward towards making India, a developed nation
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