The National, Friday 26th April 2013
WESTPAC will use the unstructured supplementary service data (USSD) technology to launch a mobile banking platform that will place a range of easy-to-access banking services for its customers.
The USSD has been around since the early days of mobile banking.
Westpac said in a statement yesterday that a key advantage of USSD was that “it’s easy to use, menu-driven and works across 99% of handsets”.
Head of mobile banking Gary Collins said a long-established mobile phone technology that was largely responsible for bringing mobile banking to the masses in Africa and Asia had the potential to change the face of banking in the Pacific.
He said there was a huge opportunity for mobile network operators to partner with banks to offer these services to customers.
“USSD mobile banking is being introduced into the Pacific and there’s the potential for bank customers to adopt it in droves,” Collins said.
From the start, mobile banking pioneers recognised its potential to deliver a range of secure and sophisticated mobile banking services to customers.
“It doesn’t require any special handset functionality, so customers don’t need expensive java-enabled smart phones or pre-loaded sim-cards to access its benefits,” he said.
USSD is different from SMS because of its increased responsiveness, flexibility and security.
It is able to pass real-time information back and forth between a customer’s mobile phone and the wider network.
“This means it can deliver a range of highly sophisticated services to customers, particularly in the mobile banking space.
“We believe that USSD’s broad accessibility and enhanced capabilities give it the potential to make banking significantly easier for Pacific communities – particularly if it’s combined with a market-leading mobile banking service.”