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 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.




Other News

Aadhaar data not misused by private firms: KJ Alphons

There has been no instance which has been reported where Aadhaar data has been misused by private companies, parliament was informed. It was found that approximately 210 websites of central government, state government departments and some educational institutes were displaying the list of b

Constitution has been amended 101 times

The constitution of India has been amended 101 times so far, parliament was informed. Union minister PP Chaudhary said that there is no proposal to review the working of the constitution by a high power commission. The National Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution was

Very few EVMs are defective: RS Prasad

According to Election Commission a small percentage of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) get defective during the poll process and get replaced immediately without causing any disruption of the poll process, parliament was informed. Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that the commission

World Water Day: Time to get back to nature

Day zero fast approaches Cape Town, one of the wealthiest towns in Africa. It’s been three years since the city has not received proper rainfall. The water reservoirs are depleting fast. The municipality will soon cut-off water supply. Rarely has any modern municipality in the world faced a water cri

President Kovind unveils Institute of Chemical Technology in Bhubaneswar

The Bhubaneswar campus of Institute of Chemical Technology (ICT) Mumbai of Indian Oil Corporation was recently inaugurated by President Ram Nath Kovind. He also laid the foundation stone of the permanent campus of Skill Development Institute (SDI) in Bhubaneswar. Both the initiatives of the

Indian Oil flags off India’s first hydrogen fuel cell bus

Indian Oil Corporation Ltd and Tata Motors successfully unveiled the demonstration trials of India`s first hydrogen fuel cell bus. Principal scientific adviser to union government Dr R Chidambaram along with chairman & board members of IOCL flagged off the bus during the 47th foundation

Current Issue

Current Issue


CM Nitish’s convoy attacked in Buxar


Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter