INTRODUCTION TO USSD BANKING SERVICES

20 Jan 2021

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In the decade since the introduction of mobile phones, banking has evolved by leaps and bounds. Today, there is nothing you cannot do with the help of your mobile phone. Internet and mobile banking has indeed streamlined every-day banking operations, while allowing banks to concentrate on providing several kinds of related at-home services. One such mobile banking facility is known as USSD. But what is USSD? Let's find out.

What is USSD Service?

Let's start with what does USSD stand for? USSD is the abbreviation for Unstructured Supplementary Service Data. It is a mobile banking facility that enables account holders to use mobile banking even without smartphones or an internet connection. Such users can use the *99# code to get information about various banking transactions such as checking account balances, transferring funds, generating bank statements, and other such essential facilities.

The objective of USSD

Having explained what USSD is, let's understand its primary objective. Launched by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), the USSD *99# payment solution was designed to provide mobile banking facilities to members of the economically weaker sections of society, who were previously underbanked. The facility aims to integrate such people by providing them with the necessary, mainstream financial banking solutions. To ensure that everyone from different corners of India can access USSD services, the NPCI has made it available in 12 different regional languages, from English to Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Tamil, etc.

How does USSD WORK?

If you wish to use USSD, please follow the steps mentioned below for registering first:

  • Dial *99# from your Registered Mobile Number (RMN).
  • Enter your Bank’s name or First 4 letter of your Bank IFSC.
  • Select Bank Account from List of Bank accounts under same RMN.
  • Enter Last 6 digits of your debit card.
  • Enter your expiry.
  • Create your UPI PIN.

Post successfully registering, please dial *99#. You will be populated a list of Financial and Non-Financial Services as under:

Financial

  • Sending Money using Mobile Number
  • Sending Money using UPI ID
  • Sending Money using Saved Beneficiary
  • Sending Money using IFSC & Account Number
  • Requesting Money using UPI ID/ Mobile Number

Non - Financial

  • Account Balance
  • Set UPI PIN
  • Change UPI PIN
  • Last 5 transactions

Using USSD money transfer service via UPI ID

If you wish to use USSD to send money via UPI ID, follow the steps mentioned below:

  • Dial *99# from RMN
  • Select number 1 for Send Money.
  • Select number 3 to send money through UPI ID.
  • Enter the beneficiary's UPI ID and confirm.
  • Enter Amount and confirm.
  • Enter Remarks if Any and confirm
  • Enter your UPI PIN to authenticate and the transaction is successful.

Using USSD money transfer service via Mobile Number

If you wish to use USSD to send money via Mobile number, follow the steps mentioned below:

  • Dial *99# from RMN
  • Select number 1 for Send Money.
  • Select number 1 to send money through Mobile Number.
  • Enter the beneficiary's Mobile Number and confirm.
  • Enter Amount and confirm.
  • Enter Remarks if Any and confirm
  • Enter your UPI PIN to authenticate and the transaction is successful.

Using USSD money transfer service via IFSC Code and bank account number

Here's how USSD works if you want to send money via your bank's IFSC code and bank account number

  • Dial *99# from RMN.
  • Select number 1 for Send Money.
  • Select number 5 to send money through Mobile Number.
  • Enter the beneficiary's IFSC Code and subsequent Account Number and confirm.
  • Enter Amount and confirm.
  • Enter Remarks if Any and confirm
  • Enter your UPI PIN to authenticate and the transaction is successful.

Final note: Now that you know how USSD works, you can utilise this facility at any time. Through the USSD technology platform, banks can transmit information through a GSM network on a basic, non-internet-enabled mobile phone. So long as your mobile phone has the SMS facility, you can conduct USSD transactions using an interactive menu.

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Introduction to FASTag – What Is It and How Does It Work

India is a country that is developing at a rapid pace. The Government of India is taking several steps to ensure that the citizens of the country get access to several facilities and amenities to make our lives easy. To ensure smoother flow of traffic, the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) has come up with a way to manage congestion, especially on state and national highways through a system known as FASTag. Let’s find out what FASTag is and how it works.
From 15th February 2021, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has mandated the Payment of toll payments at the toll plazas through FASTag. Also in coming days there are more use cases wherein the FASTag will be used.
What is FASTag card?
A FASTag card is an RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology-enabled card that allows drivers on India’s national and state highways to pay their toll tax electronically at the toll booth. The RFID technology encrypted into the FASTag card enables drivers to pay the highway toll while their vehicle is in motion. The NHAI launched the FASTag facility under the National Electronic Toll Collection (NETC) programme.
The FASTag card is currently provided only to owners or drivers of four-wheeler and multi-axle vehicles. Vehicle owners need to affix the tag on their vehicle’s windscreen. They can recharge the card as per requirement using any mode like Credit Card, Debit Card, Internet Banking, UPI, Bank’s Mobile Banking application and BBPS.
How does FASTag work?
Having explained the meaning of FASTag, let’s understand how it works. The working of FASTag involves four simple steps, as under:
The toll system captures your FASTag information
When your vehicle passes through an Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) lane, the system at the toll plaza captures your FASTag data as encrypted in the tag affixed on your vehicle’s windscreen. The basic details encrypted in this electronic card include the tag ID, vehicle registration number, vehicle size, etc., which are then sent to the acquiring bank for processing.
FASTag is monitored and validated
The acquiring bank sends the NETC Mapper a request to monitor and validate the tag details. The Mapper responds with necessary details including the status of your tag, the vehicle class and VRN, etc. If the Mapper fails to register your FASTag it sends a message saying ‘TAG ID not registered’. In such a case, you have to pay your toll tax in cash.
The toll tax is calculated
After the NETC mapper validates your vehicle details, the acquirer host calculates the toll tax you have to pay by sending a debit request to the NETC mapper. The debit request is forwarded to your issuing bank, and the amount is debited from your FASTag-linked bank account.
The tag holder is notified about the transaction
You will now receive an SMS notification confirming the payment of the toll tax. The notification is also sent to the central NETC system by the issuer host. These alerts indicate that the toll has been paid, after which the gate opens automatically, allowing you to continue on your journey.
All of these steps happen instantly.
Final note: Now that you know what FASTag is and how it works, you should consider installing it in your car and enjoy the convenience of quick commuting and travel

Know how to get FASTag for your vehicle

When driving on a toll road is that you have to stop from time to time to pay the toll. Sometimes the lines are long, and you have to rummage in your wallet/ purse to give exact amounts to the attendant, who more often than not, doesn’t have any change. But that could all be in the past with FASTag.
So what do you need to know about FASTag? Well, it’s a tag affixed to your vehicle’s windscreen, which allows you to zip past a toll booth. The amount is automatically deducted (using Radio Frequency Identification Technology, or RFID for short) from a pre-paid account that you need to fill.
Well, you may have no choice to get FASTag, since the government has mandated that all vehicles will need to have these tags. What’s more, the over 400 toll plazas over the country will no longer accept payments over the counter. So how to get FASTag for my car is what every vehicle owner needs to know right now.
How to get FASTag for cars

Where to buy: You canvisit any of the points of sale (POS) locations like toll plazas or banks like Bank of Baroda.
What documents do I need: You will need the following documents to get FASTag:

Registration certificate (RC) of the vehicle
Your passport-size photograph
KYC documents


What KYC documents do I need: If you are an individual vehicle owner, a valid driving licence should suffice for address and ID proof. You can also use the Aadhaar card, PAN card, voter ID card, and so on.
What charges you need to pay: You have to pay a one-time issuance fee of Rs 100 for the Baroda FASTag, and a refundable security deposit, which depends on vehicle type.
How to access FASTag account: Whenyoupurchase a FASTag card, you will get a username and password for the web portal, which you can use to recharge, make complaints, get details of transactions and so on.
What is the process for toll payment? You have to deposit a certain amount in your FASTag account. Each time you go through a toll point, the amount gets automatically deducted from the amount.
How will I know how much has been deducted? You will get an SMS on your registered mobile phone number each time the FASTag has been used to cross a toll plaza. So you can track every transaction you make.  
How to recharge the FASTag account: Recharging the account is a simple process. You can do it online through Debit or Credit Cards, through Internet Banking or other methods like UPI. You can also do it by visiting any of the POS locations.
What is the minimum amount for recharge or top-up: The minimum amount is Rs 100. However, you may want to put more so that you have adequate balance in your account to ensure smooth driving.
What if I don’t have enough balance in my FASTag account? If you don’t have enough balance in your account and pass through a poll plaza, you will be blacklisted. That is, you will not be allowed to pass another time until you pay up the amount.
How to affix FASTag on the car: You will need to affix FASTag on the front windshield. However, your bank will give you instructions on how it’s done.
Can I use FASTag for more than one vehicle: No, you cannot do that. The FASTag is for one specific vehicle only. You will need different FASTags for different cars.
What if I’m charged wrongly for any transaction? If you are charged incorrectly for any transaction, you can complain online using your User ID and password. You can call customer care on 18001034568 at any time of the day or night.
What is the validity period of the FASTag card? The FASTag is valid for five years.
Who is implementing FASTag? FASTag is being implemented by the Indian Highways Management Company Limited (IHMCL) a company incorporated by National Highways Authority of India and National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI).





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