State owned telecom operator, BSNL, has partnered with State Bank of India (SBI) to launch its mobile baking services via the ubiquitous USSD (unstructured supplementary service data) mobile platform, reports Telecomtalk. It is not clear as to which company is providing the technology support for the service. All BSNL users, postpay and prepay, who have an SBI account can use mobile banking which supports all major banking transactions including Money Transfer, Mobile to Mobile Fund Transfer, Balance Inquiry, Mobile Top-Up/Recharge, Mini Statement, Checkbook issuance, Prepaid Mobile Recharge and Postpaid Bill payment, and will cost Rs. 15 per month for unlimited number of transactions. The service will be work over USSD, which is also used by mobile operators to carry out mobile balance and validity requests for prepaid mobile subscribers, as well as for service activation and deactivation requests. We feel that SBI should make the service truly ubiquitous by introducing it on other mobile networks, across India, since it’s one of the biggest nationalised banks. USSD is definitely more convenient as it does not require mobile data connectivity, however, it does not work on CDMA based phones. So we feel that a mix of USSD, SMS and mobile apps should be offered by banks as media for mobile banking.How It Works:
- To use the service, users need to sign-up for Mobile Banking, with SBI.To register for the service with the bank, users need to send an SMS <MBSREG> to 9223440000 to get a User ID and MPIN . The system will reply with a user-id & default password(MPIN). It should also be noted that the customer has to submit an application for mobile banking in the SBI branch.- Following the registration, existing BSNL users can dial *595# on their mobile handset to view the menu and then enter special character * to subscribe to the service or 1 to unsubscribe to the service.- The system will then follow with a confirmation request on which users need to enter the suitable number option. Subscribers will be able to view account balance, get mini statements, do Fund Transfer, change MPIN or recharge their mobile account. Apart from that, they will also receive confirmation messages regarding successful transactions over USSD.
Previously, SBI offered State Bank FreedoM, a Mobile Banking Service over a native mobile application that required EDGE/GPRS connection on users’ mobile device.