Indian Telecom Regulator consults on USSD access and pricing


The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has launched public consultations on the use of USSD for mobile financial services.

According to Trai, USSD-based mobile banking has not gained traction even two years after its introduction in August 2014.

"The sub-optimal results achieved so far in the use of the USSD-based mobile banking channel for financial inclusion suggests the service suffers from the problem of inadequate usage despite adequate access," Trai said in its consultation paper issued on Tuesday.

In its consultation paper, Trai has advocated a "comprehensive review" of the regulatory framework for deploying the USSD communications channel for mobile banking, especially to ensure that a service that "has been successfully delivered in other countries does not fall short of expectations in India".

It is looking for industry views on ways to determine appropriate tariff models to make USSD-based mobile banking more effective. It has also sought feedback on whether the current pricing model of USSD-based basic banking services must continue. Comments on the paper are due by August 31 and counter-comments by September 14.



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