RCom launching USSD banking services in India

Reliance Communications is introducing a mobile banking service that is entirely handset-agnostic.

The country’s number four operator currently provides services using the GSM and CDMA standards, and will launch its mobile banking service connecting 29 nationalised banks that can be accessed via one number. Subscribers are charged INR 1.50 per session, as stipulated by the country’s regulator.

10 mobile companies have agreed to share their infrastructure in order to facilitate the service, which will allow numerous types of transaction on any handset, without internet access. Customers will be able to check their balance, transfer funds, change their PIN, request a cheque book and receive a mini statement, all via SMS.

The service will use USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data) channels, although the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has stipulated that USSD should only be used for basic banking services.

Vinod Sawhny, chief executive officer at Reliance Communications, said: "Financial inclusion is a national priority... Mobile technology has a crucial role to play in servicing the under-banked and un-banked sections of society."

NCPI’s gateways have been integrated with RCom’s Mumbai-based charging systems and USSD gateways. "Not only will this take telcos closer to banks, it will also cover all types of customers," said RCom Chief Information Officer Alpna J Doshi.


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