Idea Cellular on Thursday has introduced its USSD - based platform based platform for shopkeepers and customers to conduct digital transactions, using the Idea Money service.
The USSD system of payment is a unique method that enables people who do not have access to a smartphone or internet data, to conduct digital wallet payments in an efficient and convenient manner, and works seamlessly on feature-phones as well as smartphones.
While smartphone penetration is increasing in the country, there is a vast majority of mobile users who still operate on feature phones. In this scenario, USSD based transactions become instrumental in enabling digital payments in India.
"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," Idea Cellular said in a statement.
The company's statement further read, "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."
Commenting on the new feature, Sudhakar Ramasubramanian, CEO (Designate), Aditya Birla Idea Payments Bank Ltd, said, "With the unique USSD feature on Idea Money, our customers using simple feature phones will be able to digitise their payment habits and get access to features and benefits (promotions/cashbacks) of mobile payments.
With Idea's vast distribution network in India, and a strong customer base of nearly 200 million, we are confident that the new digital payment system will rapidly drive digital transactions in rural India."