We have all being using USSD codes since the first day we got a phone even if we didn’t know it by that name at the time. Whether it’s checking your airtime balance, data balance, subscribing for a service and the likes, our GSM providers have always provided a USSD code option to get this done.
#124#, *556#, *123#, *232# are all used by various networks for checking your airtime balance and of recent *200#, *777# and so on for accessing an array of services offered by a network. These are all USSD codes that we have used for years. However, in the last one (1) to two (2) years when a lot of banks caught the USSD code bug for their financial services, it has now become an household word. You no longer need to walk down the street to an airtime vendor before you purchase airtime. You don’t need to visit a website or launch an app on your phone and then use your debit / credit card to be able to purchase airtime. Dialling a code would get you airtime in seconds. Transferring funds only requires dialling a simple USSD code. Even checking your bank account balance is a breeze all because of USSD codes.
Highlighted here are the reasons why using USSD codes for all the activities described above can be referred to as the “bomb”
1. No Internet is required
To make use of a USSD code, all you have to do is dial it and press the call button just as if you are calling a regular phone number. You don’t need an internet connection to get this done as the request is not sent via that route.
2. It’s Fast
Let’s take the case of airtime purchase, before the advent of using USSD codes for this purpose, you need to load a recharge card (which by the way is still done via a USSD code) that you must have purchased physically or you log on to a website / mobile app, select a network, type in your number and the amount, then pay with your debit/credit card. Compare this process to dialling a USSD code on a phone and getting recharged in seconds. Using USSD codes for these kind of purposes is surely faster than any other method.
3. Feature Phones
You can always dial a USSD code on any kind of phone. A smart phone is not required to get this done, which means a market woman with the smallest and cheapest of phones can make use of USSD codes for the operations described earlier in the article.
4. Easy to Use
No internet is required. It’s fast. You can use it on any phone. So, of course, it is easy or better put, easier to use.
5. Simple Interface
The interface is very simple as all you need to do to select any option is to enter a number written against an option. Web and mobile app interfaces can easily get clunky if not well-managed. This is not so for a USSD interface. It’s simple and straight to the point