5 years after the Nigerian Communications Fee (NCC) shared a report on uniform shortcodes, stakeholders within the telecoms business will now start implementation. Harmonised shortcodes permit clients of various cell operators and banks to make use of the identical USSD codes to test airtime steadiness, purchase airtime and even make financial institution transactions. The first argument for harmonisation is that it’ll allow simple memorisation and a extra cohesive regulatory setting.
At the moment, there are greater than 4 main cell community operators and about 21 business banks working in Nigeria. Most of those establishments have supplied shortcodes to their clients for important companies corresponding to airtime and information recharge, steadiness checking, borrowing, and making transfers. A few of these widespread codes embody GTCO’s *737# and MTN’s *556#, with the previous gaining reputation by extensively marketed radio jingles and TV advertisements. The business success of those advertisements was how customized USSD codes turned commonplace in Nigeria, ultimately giving rise to companies like GTCO’s Squad which permit companies to have their very own customised codes for funds.
For such banks and companies, this implies all of the advertising and buyer consciousness will come to a halt, as they’ll now concentrate on the joint publicity of the brand new harmonised codes. But, the upside is that every one clients is not going to must consistently Google their financial institution or cell supplier’s codes. Via the harmonisation course of, the NCC seeks to copy international greatest practices within the Nigerian telecommunications area. Harmonised shortcodes are commonplace globally, with Ghana doing the identical in 2014.
In accordance with the Affiliation of Licenced Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), the migration to a brand new set of codes might be concluded by Might seventeenth, 2023, which can mark the tip of the viability of outdated shortcodes. The proposed new shortcodes will then proceed as the one technique of sending the instructions on cell units. The proposed harmonised shortcodes embody 300 for name centres; 303 for airtime borrowing companies; 310 for steadiness checking; 311 for credit score recharge; 312 for information plan; and 2442 for porting companies.
A mean Nigerian with one sim card and one checking account must memorise between 5 and ten brief codes to finish frequent instructions. Contemplating that, and the truth that most Nigerians use multiple (MNOs) and function a number of accounts, one can solely think about the variety of shortcodes the typical Nigerian should hold observe of. This example is what the NCC desires to vary.