TRAI slashes USSD transaction charge to 50 paisa per session

The reduction in cost is expected to bring about financial inclusion in rural areas

taru

Taru Bhatia | November 22, 2016


#TRAI   #RS Sharma   #USSD   #Financial Inclusion  

In order to promote digital transactions through the USSD channel, the telecom regulatory authority of India (TRAI) has waived off the transaction cost from Rs 1.50 to Rs 0.5 paisa per session.

The new rates will be effective from January 1. 

Currently, per session on USSD channel includes five stages of transactions. As per the revised guidelines by TRAI, number of stages per session has increased to eight.

The reduction in cost will bring about financial inclusion in rural areas and will make cashless transactions a desirable option for feature phone-users, said RS Sharma, chairman, TRAI on Tuesday.

According to TRAI, India has more that 65 percent of feature phone in India. In October, volume of transactions via USSD channel was Rs 84 lakh.

The volume is very low for such a large number of people using feature phones, Sharma said.

The authority is expecting the volume to increase 10 times after reduction in transaction charge.

Sharma also mentioned that new rates are applied on both retail transactions as well as banking services like checking balance, withdrawal, deposits and peer-to-peer transfer.

Moreover, the chairman noted that failed transaction is also one of the key reasons that discourage poor citizens to use this channel, as they get charged for each failed transactions.

Therefore, TRAI has consulted National Payments Corporation of India to look into the causes behind the failed transactions.

NPCI has agreed to create a task force to look into the cause and see whether optimisation can be done to improve users' experience and convenience, Sharma said, adding that 54 percent of transactions are failing on this channel.

TRAI is also consulting RBI on whether software design of USSD can be simplified for merchants for receiving payment via this medium.
One of the optimisation that can be done, the chairman suggested, is by allowing feature phone users to save the account details like IFSC code and account number to transfer money, like in net banking user can save the payee's details.

Presently, user transferring money through USSD channel has to re-enter payee's details every time while making a transaction.
Digital payment and financial inclusion through USSD can be achieved by gaining the confidence of users, making it user friendly and by reducing the cost, Sharma added.

 

Comments

 

Other News

India’s glitch-free vaccination gathers pace

The nationwide vaccination campaign launched Saturday, the largest such exercise in the world, has started setting new benchmarks, with vaccines administered to 2,24,301 beneficiaries in the first two days. “India has vaccinated the highest number of persons on Day1 under its COVID19 v

Maharashtra to spend Rs 2,500 crore to augment, develop power infrastructure

The Maharashtra government has announced a spending of Rs 2,500 crore annually to develop infrastructure of state-owned distribution company Mahavitaran (MSEDCL).   Out of the total amount, Rs 1,500 crore will be spent on energisation of conventional agriculture pumps and Rs 1,000 crore

Launched: Largest vaccination drive in history

India on Saturday began the massive vaccination drive against Covid-19, as prime minister Narendra Modi paid tributes the ‘corona warriors’. “Such a vaccination drive at such a massive scale was never conducted in history. There are over 100 countries having less than 3 cro

"TV not in business of news; it is in the business of polarisation”

Television news these days has a loose relationship with truth, says senior journalist, columnist and author Vir Sanghvi, adding that it is not telling the truth and polarising opinions. In a live webcast with Kailashnath Adhikari, MD, Governance Now, during the Visionary Talk series held by

How the colonial rulers combated “this insidious and growing danger” of dust and smoke

Dust and Smoke: Air Pollution and Colonial Urbanism: India, c. 1860-1940 By Awadhendra Sharan Orient BlackSwan, xxiv+320 pages, Rs 795 Air pollu

Unlocking the value of renewable energy assets through InVITs in India

India has been witnessing a sluggish demand growth for power amidst COVID-19. It has affected both thermal as well as renewable energy (RE) sector. While thermal sector (coal) plant load factor (PLF) is coming down continuously amidst no new generation building up, renewable energy held its ground through

Masterminds Masterclass on Acting with Vidya Malavade





Archives

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter