Goa…an entire state has gone cashless. Now it’s your turn. All you require is a smartphone with a good internet connection. Worried that going cashless is difficult…It’s much simpler than you think….But…what if you do not have a smartphone? A smartphone is not that cheap…Not everybody can afford it. Then there’s internet connectivity…Yes, internet does not cost much, but what if you don’t have an internet connection? Can you still transfer money to friends and family?
You have the mobile wallets where you transfer money to friends/family or make payments at shops. Read more on mobile wallets. Then there is the UPI (Unified Payments Interface) launched by National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), where you transfer money to friends and pay for all those items you buy online. Click here to read more on UPI. You require a smartphone with an internet connection to use both the UPI and the mobile wallets. Is there a way to transfer money and make payments, using a basic mobile phone and no internet connectivity?
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Unstructured Supplementary Service Data popularly called USSD, has been built by National Unified USSD Platform (NUUP). The USSD works on the voice network. This means you can use it on a basic mobile handset (feature phone) and you don’t need an internet connection. Checking your bank account balance is as simple as checking your phone’s prepaid balance.
You need to register your mobile phone number, with your bank account. You can even register multiple bank accounts with the same mobile phone number. All you need to do is dial *99# on your phone keypad. You get a USSD message on your phone, asking for the first three letters of your bank. If you have an account with State Bank of India, you need to enter sbi. You could also enter the first four letters of your IFSC code. You then get to select options, Check your bank account balance, Mini statement, Send money using MMID, Send money using IFSC, Show MMID, Change MPIN….
USSD offers you three kinds of services.
You can check your bank account balance, generate a mini statement, check your mobile money identifier popularly called MMID (very useful for mobile banking) and check your mobile PIN (m-PIN).
You can transfer money using the recipient’s (person you want to send money) IFSC code, mobile number, MMID and even Aadhaar number.
You can check the status of the link between your Aadhaar and bank account.
Remember: The maximum amount you can transact each day is INR 5,000.
USSD is available in 11 regional languages. You can assess USSD in the desired language using these short codes. Hindi (*99*22#), Marathi (*99*28#), Bengali (*99*29#), Punjabi (*99*30#), Kannada (*99*26#), Gujarati (*99*27#), Tamil (*99*23#), Telugu (*99*24#), Malayalam (*99*25#), Oriya (*99*32#) and Assamese (*99*31#).
Let’s say a thief has stolen your mobile phone and dials *99#. He will not get your bank account details. He would have to enter the short code of the bank, example ICICI BANK is ici. He doesn’t know which bank you have an account. He also needs to know your m-PIN (Always set an m-PIN). Without this he can’t transfer money to his bank account. You can always block your SIM. Your money is safe.
Yes…Transferring money is really simple using USSD. You don’t require a smartphone….a feature phone is enough. You don’t even require internet connectivity. Be Wise, Get Rich.
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