What is USSD?

Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD also referred to as quick codes is a communications protocol used by GSM cellular telephones to communicate with the mobile network operator's computers.

Africastalking USSD overview

Why should i use USSD?

USSD is a protocol that enables users who do not have smartphones to access services from service providers e.g businesses or banks. One of the most common USSDs we have all interacted with is dialling *144#, which enables a user to check his balance.


What are the types of USSDs?

There are two types of USSD codes. Depending on the nature of the business and its financial muscle you can choose one of the two.

Type of USSD codes

Dedicated USSD: These are three digits code e.g *544# that is used solely by one company or service.


Shared USSD: They are used by several companies or businesses e.g *384*365#, each company is assigned one channel. Another company can be assigned *384*366#, Which links to a different service. 


What is USSD integration?

USSD integration is the process of having business users access your services by dialing your USSD code on their phones. To have a functioning USSD service there are 3 entities.

The Telkom provider which can be Safaricom, Airtel, or Telkom: The business owner identifies which Telkom lines will users access his/her service. I.e users dialing *354# in Safaricom can only access my services. You will need to register with each to have users access your application.


USSD providers: They offer the platform for a fully functioning USSD application, it is here that the rules are set. The linking of the USSD and the backend solution.


Software Provider: They work hand in hand with the USSD provider to ensure that when a user accesses your USSD channel the right menu is displayed. Cassavahub is one of the leading USSD software development firms in Kenya.


What are the costs of USSD Integration?

The cost for USSD integration depends on the USSD providers, the channel you have chosen i.e dedicated or shared, the number of Telkom lines you wish to support, and the software development firm. At Cassavahub we offer USSD integration at an affordable cost.

USSD codes have a monthly cost associated with them. As the codes are hosted in the servers of the USSD providers, the backends are usually hosted in the client's servers.


Here is the pricing page of some of the USSD providers.