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

Sowing wheat earlier can help increase yields in India: US researcher

Yield gaps in wheat production in India can be countered with an earlier sowing date, says a University of Michigan researcher.   Using a new way to measure wheat yields, Meha Jain, assistant professor at the U-M School for Environment and Sustainability, found that the wheat yie

Giving birth as a Baiga

Kharpariya village, about 50 km from the headquarters town of Madhya Pradesh’s Mandla district, is like many villages in the region, home to the Baiga, deemed a particularly vulnerable tribal group (PVTG) for whom permanent contraception methods are banned to prevent extinction. However, care for p

Being the prime minister’s brother

Somabhai Modi says he remembers only one occasion when he offered his younger brother prime minister Narendra Modi advice regarding work. This, he says, was when Modi was chief minister of Gujarat. After one of his weekly grievance redressal sessions, the then chief minister had enquired after the well-b

Should ration cards not linked to Aadhaar be rendered ineligible?

Should ration cards not linked to Aadhaar be rendered ineligible?

INS Kiltan commissioned into Indian Navy

 INS Kiltan, the third anti-submarine warfare (ASW) stealth corvette built under project 28 (Kamorta class), was commissioned into the Indian Navy by defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman at the naval dockyard in Visakhapatnam.    The anti-submarine warfare stealth corvet

SAIL`s special grade steel used to build stealth corvette

Maharatna enterprise, Steel Authority of India Ltd. (SAIL) has supplied defence grade micro-alloyed grade of steel (DMR 249A) steel plates for the indigenously built anti-submarine warfare (ASW) stealth corvette INS-Kiltan commissioned into Indian Navy.    SAIL’s integ



Video

Grand Diwali celebrations in Ayodhaya on eve of diwali

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter