Short for Unstructured Supplementary Service Data - USSD is so widely used in South Africa that it is a very accepted means of communication, with no user education necessary. Mobile banking and airtime recharge facilities have made use of USSD since their inception - to such an extent that many people do not even realise they are interacting with a USSD application.
With tested capacity at over 450 million sessions per month, Connect provides robust communication gateways that support surveys, competitions and consumer engagement as well as real time data and service requests.
Our dedicated project team is available to assist with planning, development, management and reporting for your campaign.
Our USSD is also available via API, with a free 30 day testing period.
Please refer to our Rate Card for general costs, however USSD applications are usually quoted for on a case by case basis, as requirements differ greatly.
Standard rated USSD allows the user to engage with your platform at standard bearer rates, billed to the user at 20 cents (incl. Vat) for every 20 seconds of engagement, or part thereof. The majority of USSD applications make use of standard rated services, as it is a relatively cheap form of engagement, but does have a certain barrier to entry – preventing abuse.
Premium Rated USSD allows you to bill the user for making use of your USSD Application. Mostly used for content services, users can be billed in increments of R1, R1.67 or R2.50 (incl. Vat) per 20 seconds of engagement, or part thereof. Other price bands are available however they are subject to a 14 working day approval period from the networks. Revenue is split with the networks, differing from time to time and per network. Revenues are paid by the networks 2 months in arrears. Please contact us for further information regarding revenue shares.
Reverse Billed USSD allows you to carry the bearer costs of a user engaging with your application. As opposed to the user being billed 20 cents per 20 seconds by the networks, this cost is reversed allowing the user to engage free of charge. Reverse sessions are billed monthly and are subject to a holding deposit being paid before activation. Reverse Billed USSD carries the suffix *134*xxxx# as opposed to the regular *120*xxxx# suffix used for standard and premium rated USSD.
Available strictly to financial institutions who have a valid FI code with the networks, NI USSD allows you to initiate a USSD session from your application and “push” the menu to the user’s handset. NI USSD is used mostly for one time passwords and financial contract confirmations.