Idea Money launches USSD-based platform for digital payments

idea_background_reutersIdea Cellular today said it has enabled USSD-based platform for shopkeepers and customers to conduct digital transactions using Idea Money service. USSD is mobile short code that enables financial and banking transactions even on feature phones. While smartphone penetration is increasing in the country, there is a vast majority of mobile users who don’t have access to Internet and still operate on feature phones. In this scenario, USSD based transactions become crucial in enabling digital payments.

“The Idea Money USSD Pull feature comes with the new and unique ‘Pull Payments’ ability for merchants allowing them to initiate receipt of payments from customers via their mobile numbers. Unlike in normal payment transactions that necessitate a customer initiating the entire flow of payment, Pull-based USSD enables a merchant to initiate the transaction flow and the customer only has to provide the OTP to the merchant, thereby making the transaction even more convenient,” Idea Cellular said in a statement. Idea Money is a digital wallet offered by Idea Cellular through its subsidiary Idea Mobile Commerce Services.

The company said that merchants are on-boarded using their mobile phone number which is then linked to their bank account. A merchant needs to dials *400#, select pull payment, and thereafter enter mobile number of the customer who is also an Idea Money wallet-holder. After the payment amount is filled, a 4-digit OTP received by the customer has to be entered in the USSD menu to complete the transaction. The customer wallet is then debited and merchant wallet is credited with the payment amount, it added. The payment received is moved to the merchant’s selected bank account the next day, it said.

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