1. Call centers and Interactive Voice Response (IVR) replacement.
USSD can be used as a way to cut down costs on human resources and provide a better user experience for customers. Unlike with IVR systems, customers do not have to learn how to use USSD service, and they can get information much faster. It is also more cost efficient for companies than IVR.
To use it, customers need to dial free service number (it can be short, for example *100#). They receive USSD menu where they can choose from several options. These menu items may include FAQ or any other info. It may also include a web address or a call center number for more detailed requests.
Banks are widely employing this feature nowadays to save money.
2. Mobile payments.
USSD is one of the essential protocols (like SMS) of any GSM mobile network, and it is supported by any mobile device. Therefore, it is a common standard. It means that any financial institution can use it for mobile payments and banking and can be sure that all population can be reached.
Widely popular in developing countries, mobile payment with USSD is a way to ensure that even non tech savvy customers can use your services. It is also does not require any specific hardware or software. It is as uncomplicated as SMS, but with interactive user experience and instant response it may be number 1 technology for mobile payments.
3. Security improvements for banks or any other service that requires authentication.
Customers can receive notification on each operation of his/her card account. Another way of using it is so called One Time Password which is used for two-factor authentication. Subscribers receive a USSD/SMS message with a temporary PIN code to prove their identity. In this case, like with any other USSD services, USSD can be used together with SMS to provide the best user experience.
4. Customer care services.
USSD is widely used for balance enquiry and everything relating to management of your subscription. Subscription to additional services, change of the calling plan and balance top up – that relates more to mobile operators.
For various businesses it is a must too. Again, banks are using USSD self-care services to cut on costs, and it is extremely convenient for customers too.
There much more use cases for USSD and we will review them in the future. If you are looking to start USSD mobile service, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
In a recent article, Forrester Research made some predictions about cloud computing in 2013. The main prediction is that everything, well, will go to Cloud. As a company who adopts cloud computing we can confirm that; indeed, it is the way to go. It makes everything for customers just a lot easier, time saving and cost-effective.
Let’s look at one of our new offers. Many of our clients who are service providers are faced with a problem of different programming interfaces of various mobile operators. As a matter of fact, it is one of the most widespread barriers for them. It takes a lot of time and money to develop the same service for, let’s say five local MNO’s. Then, if you make changes to it, you have to do them five times.
If you have the same problem, you might be glad to hear that now, for a fraction of the price, it is possible to get universal API that is compatible with any GSM mobile network. Once you develop your service you are good to go to deliver it to any country.
As the platform based in Cloud all you do is connect to it, no need to travel to other countries and setup additional hardware or software on-site. In this case, Global USSD takes SaaS (Software as a service) approach.
In this scheme, we do not serve as USSD aggregator, so you have to buy traffic from operators directly and then pass it through our platform in Cloud. The cost of “renting” the platform this way is more than affordable.
On top of universal API the platform comes with tools for development of USSD mobile services, so if you are just starting your business this can be a perfect way for you to save money and time. From basic static services to dynamic ones. There is no particular programming language you need to master to use the platform. You can easily integrate previously developed services using the platform’s API.
Contact us at email@example.com to check the pricing and learn more about our other offers.
In the latest research Gartner highlighted top mobile applications and services which are bound to have success in the next two to five years. In this post I am going to list different niches that Gartner provided and comment on how USSD can be used in each one of them. After all, USSD is the most easy and cost saving way of starting mobile services and reaching the largest possible audience.
“Consumer services and applications that consumers use when online — whether they’re on the move, at work or at home — involve various devices which are often used interchangeably for common uses such as streaming video, shopping, banking or engaging social networks,” said Sandy Shen, research director at Gartner.
Mobile Social Networks
Gartner expects mobile social networks to reach mainstream adoption in less than two years, attracting one billion users by 2014. According to Gartner surveys, 15% of mobile phone users access social networking sites via their phones.
There are huge mobile markets in developing countries which still not adopted the latest smartphones, therefore subscriber there are not able to use social networks on the go. As a matter of fact, approximately 110 million people in the USA as of June 2012 owned a smartphone. There are still more than 200 million untapped people who can be targeted with alternative social mobile service even in the US.
This where USSD comes handy as it works on on any mobile device. Socialized.mobi is a service that allows a GSM mobile phone user to access his social networking Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ accounts without having to subscribe to any data plan or be in a presence of a Wi-Fi network. All it needs is a 2G network, thanks to USSD.
“While adoption has been slow, Gartner’s surveys show a growing willingness among smartphone users to adopt mobile coupons.”
Again, USSD allows to reach any person with a mobile device, not a smartphone specifically. They see an offer on the billboard, dial a number if they are interested in, and get a discount coupon. Same goes for TV, radio and magazines ads.
Even more than that, it is possible for a consumer to subscribe for your new offers or get more information about your company. This creates a new marketing channel which vastly differs from usual SMS spam. He/she actually subscribes by their will so its a nice way for unobtrusive advertising.
“Location-based services can improve service delivery, customer support, and workforce and marketing effectiveness.”
While USSD technology doesn’t have such functionality by default, our platform, Global USSD, have special neat features. Based on consumers’ traffic analysis, demography, geography, preferences and what they’ve consumed before, you can deliver services and offers that are truly relevant. Global USSD platform is the only solution on the market which adds this amazing functionality to USSD technology.
All services mentioned above and many more can be easily implemented using Global USSD. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up for the service development account and test the platform in real mobile networks worldwide.
When it comes to implementing mobile services that provide real value in the world, one usually faces the problem of fragmentation of mobile devices and their operating systems. With such a vast variety of mobile phones, it is difficult to create a system of services that can be omnipresent across the whole country, let alone the whole world. There are only two technologies today that can be accessed from any mobile device, regardless of its operating system or date of release. They are SMS and USSD.
Trend of using mobile devices for healthcare started to foster two years ago. Today, according to a research by The Boston Consulting Group and Telenor Group, mHealth market is approaching a global tipping point. The following facts make it obvious that mobile services can improve the industry:
- The necessary infrastructure is already in everyone’s hands: 7.4 billion mobile subscriptions projected by 2015
- The technology richness and network capacity is sufficient, both on basic feature phones and on smart devices
- Costs in elderly care can be reduced by 25% with mobile healthcare
- Maternal and perinatal mortality can be reduced by 30%
- Twice as many rural patients can be reached per doctor
- Tuberculosis treatment compliance can be improved by 30-70%
- Costs related to data collection can be reduced by 24%
The point about rural patients is especially true for developing countries, where majority of population lives in rural areas. For example, population of Tanzania is estimated at 43.7 million, with 75% of people living in the rural areas. In fact, the recent Hurricane Sandy showed that even such developed countries as the United States have inadequate access to healthcare facilities, particulate areas with geographical barriers. That is why using modern technologies is vital.
“The technological development and successful pilots around the world demonstrate that the time for mHealth has come. Accelerating adoption will require orchestrating multiple stakeholders, including the alignment of incentives for healthcare professionals to adopt mHealth,” says Knut Haanæs, Global Leader, Sustainability Practice, The Boston Consulting Group.
We, as a company who provides a platform for delivery and development of USSD mobile services, firmly believe that USSD is the technology which can transform mHealth industry. Not only it allows the most money and time efficient way to deploy mHealth services in various countries, it is also accessibly from any mobile device.
Contact us at email@example.com to learn more about the technology and sign up for the service development account for testing.
With a variety of different mobile platforms on the market there is no such thing as ubiquitous, simple user experience. What works on one device, do not work on another. Some may say their grandma is using iPhone and do not complain. The question is – did she created an account on Appstore, downloaded required applications and configured them all by herself? Not every grandma has such a caring children and not every grandma has an iPhone either.
There are many different smartphones other than iPhone, but we are using it here as an example of one of the most user friendly and popular handset on the market. It may seems like it is everywhere. But the reality is, five years after launch, Apple sold 250 million of devices. There are almost 7 Billion people on the Earth right now. What other 6 3/4 billion of people are using? According to Strategy Analytics report the number of smartphone users is 1 billion now. Turns out there are 6 billion people with “dumb” and feature phones that are not “cool” anymore.
That’s why such hyped technologies as NFC are not going to become widespread anytime soon. There are countries with no 3G connectivity, let alone NFC chips inside phones. There are too many retailers, different platforms and devices to make such technology work everywhere. And that goes for any mobile services that are becoming popular in developed countries, but only exist for a couple of mobile platforms.
What every person who uses a mobile phone can do with it? He/she can call from it and text SMS messages. That’s why creating services with basic technologies is a safe choice. They work on all mobile devices and can be used by everybody.
USSD is an amazing and practical way to create mobile services of different purpose. This technology resembles SMS but works in a real time, with no delays between messages. Not only that, but a user receives a menu of the service where different sub menus and information can be chosen in real time. Mobile banking, ticket reservation, payments and much more can be handled by this tested and robust technology which is supported by all GSM mobile networks worldwide.
All it takes to use USSD service on your phone is to dial service number and press call button. That’s it. A menu of the service will be delivered to your phone and can be used. It really is simple.
If you want to learn more about USSD feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mobile banking really is on the rise. The latest study by Verve Mobile shows that 80% of consumers consider mobile banking an important part of financial institutions’ services. Now more people are not only willing to use mobile devices for banking activities but also expect such services to have more features and be user friendly. A couple years back very few people seriously considered mobile financial services to be part of their lives due to the security concerns. It’s strange though, as in these 2 years nothing happened that would suggest that security has tremendously improved. The guess here is that new technology, for example tablet PCs, is penetrating lives of average people and is seen almost everywhere, so people are more open to use new things.
The study revealed that top three mobile banking services used: transfers (63%), bill pay (62%), alerts (40%). All these functions can be easily implemented using USSD technology and be available on all types of mobile devices. That’s why USSD is being used by many mobile operators and companies to provide mobile services.
MegaFon, the second largest mobile operator in Russia is having big success with their new service “Mobile Transfer” which is in Top 3 of the most popular company’s services. The service is popular due to the fact that the operation takes place here and now, without wasting time searching for the terminal. In addition, our customers say that the service is particularly suitable for topping up SIM card balance in modems, and other Internet devices, mobile accounts of children or elderly relatives”- said the director of the Volga branch of OJSC” MegaFon “Alexander Grigoriev.
To transfer money to another balance all you need to do is to dial USSD string 133*amount of money*phone number#. No additional applications, registration and stuff like that. So if you want to transfer $100 you dial 133*100*8700900# and press call button, that’s it.
Contact us at email@example.com to learn more about the technology. Our platform Global USSD provides all necessary tools for development and delivery of USSD services to 80% of mobile networks. You can start you own mobile service in a matter of days for very affordable price.
When developing a mobile service, one usually faces the problem of fragmentation of different interfaces due to the variety of mobile devices, its operating systems, various screen sizes and technologies that these devices have. More than that, one have to implement low-level functionality to communicate with network infrastructure, such as SMS and USSD centers.
Global USSD brings the opportunity to make services that available on all mobile devices. By using USSD technology, the platform allows developing mobile services that work in all GSM mobile networks and support all mobile devices. USSD is a standard protocol used in GSM networks, it is as common as SMS but allows creating fully featured mobile services with high level of interactivity.
We can safely say that using Global USSD tools is the easiest way to create a mobile service. Even people who are not familiar with programming and know little about mobile technologies can make one.
The original service structure and its information content can be created using the blog engine WordPress and our special plug-in for it. Blog categories become the service menu, and blog entries represent information. The blog generates the mobile service and you can continue updating the blog while the mobile service will take information directly from the blog. This option is useful if there is a large amount of static information in the service, which needs to be periodically updated.
If the service is more complex, the service can be created in the form of a site of XML pages with additional functionality programmed in any convenient server side programming language. The second option is used in the cases when the service needs to access databases, perform calculations, make choices depending on user data, etc.
All you need to do is create a server on your personal computer, host these XML files and our platform connects your server via HTTP when server is requested by subscribers of any mobile network.
To learn more about Global USSD contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Stay tuned.
The number of active mobile money users in emerging markets is forecasted to grow from 61 million in 2011 at a CAGR of 36% to reach 381 million by 2017, according to the recent report by Berg Insight. Besides mobile operators that target the unbanked population with their mobile services, finanical institutions’ level of interest is high as ever and small start-ups are looking to get their peace of pie too.
Pakistan is one of these emerging markets where starting a mobile service might bring a lot of money. World Bank’s Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP), in its recent study has recognized Pakistan as one of the fastest growing branchless banking market in the World. Latest technology solutions are the main reason of rapid transition in Pakistan’s financial sector.
Even Pakistan Post introduced electronic way of transferring money. Money can be transferred by filling out a form with name, mobile number, amount of money, recipient’s name and the Computerised National Identity Card number, at one of the post offices offering the service. The sender and receiver will receive a text message on their cellphones about the transaction.
In 2012 this seems a little bit outdated and slow option, though. Transferring money services can be implemented using mobile technology, which are bound to have success with such prevalance of mobile devices. Similar services are going through a stage of tremendous success in Africa, which have a large number of unbanked people.
If you are from Pakistan and looking to start a mobile service but troubled with multiple APIs of mobile operators and look for the easiest way to develop and deliver your services, look no further than Global USSD. By using our platform you get all required tools to develop mobile services of any complextity, from simple informational and entertainment to financial ones. More than that, you don’t have to learn new programming language as you can develop using any language and then integrate using our universal API. It allows delivering to any GSM mobile network in the world.
The platform employs USSD technology, which means that services based on it can be used from any mobile device, including modern smartphones or regular “dumb” phones. USSD widely used in coutries where smartphones are not as prevalent as feature phones. By using ut you can be ensured that 100% of mobile subscrubers can be reached.
For more information contact us at email@example.com. Stay tuned.
Inability to monetize their own services and as a result falling revenues doesn’t look good for mobile operators. Google and Apple really created problems for carriers with over the top applications and services that replace functionality of mobile networks. A lot of information, including voice and text messaging, is transferred through mobile Internet.
Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal announced at CII broadband summit that “the mindset of industry must change… at the moment, revenue of industry depends on voice, it is time that the industry decides to move in a direction where revenues come from data and not from voice… the industry must move in that direction (making voice free) so that in years to come, talking to each other should not be taxed”.
This is a very clever observation considering what happens in the telecom industry right now. Mobile operators offer Internet traffic for really low price, while blowing huge money on upgrading to faster hardware, which in the end lowers their revenue. New LTE networks allow having stable voice and video calls via Skype. There is really no reason to pay for voice or text messages in this case. Let’s not forget about Wi-Fi network. In this case you don’t even have to pay for traffic. They are becoming omnipresent and in the future that definitely can hurt the model that Mr. Sibal is proposing.
How long it will take to transfer the whole industry to this revenue model? More importantly, will it ever happen? Right now voice traffic is the main income for mobile operators so any drastic changes are unlikely to happen in the near future. What carriers can do is incorporate popular mobile services into their business models and offer them for all subscribers, no matter what mobile phone is being used.
Gartner expects mobile social networks to reach mainstream adoption in less than two years, attracting one billion users by 2014. They are many people who would want to use social mobile services but they don’t have a smartphone. Socialized.mobi is a service that allows a GSM mobile phone user to access his social networking accounts without having to subscribe to any data plan, GPRS, 3G, etc. for their mobile phones. It uses USSD protocol, which communicates with our remote servers. It supports Facebook, Twitter, Weibo with Google+ and Tumbler coming soon. Socialized.mobi works on any GSM network, feature or smart phones. Users access social networking accounts without need for data plan.
It is a great a way for mobile operators to monetize Facebook and other social networks, charging a small fee monthly. If you are a mobile operator and interested contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
When it comes to development for some new platform you probably feel some unpleasant burning in your chest, anticipating hundreds of hours that will be wasted learning a new language and developing. Previous experience doesn’t matter no more; you have to put hours in, all for the sake of one application. Management doesn’t like investing money and time too, not knowing how the project will end up in the end. Nobody likes to learn a new programming language, that’s what I am trying to say. Your boss and you, both of you don’t like this time and money consuming activity.
Development of mobile services, in particular, is not a walk in the park. We are not talking about Android and iOS platforms here. Believe it or not, there are billions of people who are still using plain mobile phones, those one where you scroll through contacts using D-pad. The majority of mobile services are made for such phones.
To develop SMS or USSD based service and then deliver it you have to overcome several obstacles:
- When you get to the office of a local mobile operator you may find yourself not getting past reception. Nobody will point you to the room where ambitious developers present their ideas and discuss revenue share. All because there is no such room. Well, unless you have top tier connections.
- The problem of multiple APIs. Every operator has its’ own. Re-developing services over and over again for each operator? Doesn’t sound too good.
- Developing in specific programming language. You may know it and if not, who wants to learn it?
Global USSD is a unique mobile platform, which gives developers and mobile service providers opportunity to ease the process of mobile service development and delivery, and save a lot of time and money in the process.
- Global USSD has universal API, which makes it possible to develop a mobile service once on ANY programming language and launch it on any carrier in the world.
- Works in 80% of mobile networks worldwide.
- Works on all basic mobile phones and smartphones.
- Works in roaming.
- Comes with development kit for easy development using XML language.
And much more. If you want to learn more feel free to contact us at email@example.com.