The Power of USSD: A Solution to African Financial Transaction Problems


Author(s): Ebole Alpha Friday, Shomope Adewale Abduirasaq Amusu Mary

Paying mobile bills has now become simple with the help of Internet banking and credit cards, Customer adapted to prepaying and get credited by buying them online or at the store nearby. Whereas the post-pay adapted customer pays his bills by end of his service session through online money transfer or paying bills at the store. These payment processes are hard to make sometimes, considering the resources available in underdeveloped countries or in a place where the Internet is difficult to find. Unstructured Supplementary Service Data payments (USSD) also come in handy when a customer runs out of Internet credits or uses a phone which does not provide him internet on the go. With limited resources, USSD payment provides clients the advantage of getting a phone card credited on tap. To make this happen, network providers and banks must work together. The network provider creates a database to save bank card details and accesses them when required with permission of the respective customer whenever a transition is made through USSD. For every payment, an authentication protocol is performed to avoid hackers and make secured money transfer. This Journal highlights the downsides of financial exclusion in modern societies and how we can leverage the technology of mobile money to drive financial inclusion in our society with a particular interest in unbanked areas in Nigeria. The financial sector is a heavily regulated sector in Nigeria, so it will be essential to see what it takes to set up mobile money operations in Nigeria and make it accessible to people who actually need it and the availability of the technology needed to make that happen. Even though mobile money operation is not so new, adoption has been very slow and this study is going to primarily highlight how adoption can be improved and the infrastructure needed to drive that adoption. The result of this study shows that the adoption of Mobile money can increase financial inclusion in Nigeria to 95% and as well connect over 99% of the adult population to easy credit facilities and financial services. In conclusion, the study recommends the quick adoption of mobile money wallets for personal finance considering the literacy landscape of Nigeria and the ease with which it provides credits and financial services to people in remote areas of the country, improving the ease of doing business, and bringing much-needed financial literacy to the people.