Stanbic IBTC officially launched its *909# Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) application on September 9, 2019. In this interview, Emmanuel Aihevba, Stanbic IBTC’s Head of Customer Channels discussed what makes the code distinct from the USSD offerings of other financial institutions.
What makes the 909 USSD code different from existing mobile transaction codes owned by other financial institutions?
The 909 banking code is quite different from others in the industry because it is the only USSD code designed to cater to the multifaceted financial needs of customers. It is the only USSD code that offers customers access to their Bank Accounts, Mutual Funds (investment), Pension and Mobile Wallets (Virtual Banking) services at the same time.
What do you mean when you say that the 909 USSD code is designed around the customer’s life and needs?
This is because the 909 code allows you to carry out banking transactions at anytime, anyplace and anywhere on any type of mobile device (both feature & smart phones) without any hindrance or limitation. The solution is fast, secure and reliable and customers do not need data on their phones to access the 909 offerings.
The 909 code has been in the market for a while. Why this campaign and what was the campaign aimed at?
The essence of the 909 campaign was to reward our loyal customers, who over the years, had been using 909 to perform their basic banking transactions. In the same vein, we used the campaign to also reach out to prospective customers who do not currently use the 909 code to let them know about the various services available on the platform and how these can be of benefit to them. The bonus airtime reward and other giveaways during the period of the campaign was available to both existing and prospective customers on the platform.
What sort of benefits and rewards were available to customers during the month-long campaign?
Existing and prospective customers who used the 909 code for their banking transactions – most especially for the purchase of airtime, won amazing airtime bonuses throughout the month of September 2019. Branded gift items and other exciting giveaways were also made available to walk-in customers in our branches and to those who followed the Stanbic IBTC social media handles on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram
The introduction of USSD codes comes with certain challenges such as customer data breach, service challenges, etc. How does the 909 USSD code combat this challenge?
Like any other product and services offered by Stanbic IBTC, 909 has been carefully designed with reliable security features that guarantee the integrity of customer and transaction data processed on the platform. The Stanbic IBTC 909 USSD offering is also operated in line with stipulated security regulation by the CBN for USSD services.
What are your expectations in terms of customer adoption of the 909 USSD code?
Our expectations are quite high as we believe that 909 is a solution that every customer that has a relationship with the Stanbic IBTC Group should adopt and use for their everyday transactional needs. As I had earlier highlighted, the offerings on the platform transcend beyond Banking as Pensions, Wallet and Asset Management (Mutual Funds) services are other offerings currently available to existing and prospective customers on the 909 platform.
Are there plans for an upgrade that will enable customers to perform more functions in the future?
Yes, the 909 platform will continue to evolve as we continue to strive hard to meet the different but exciting needs of our customers. For example, Insurance and Stockbroking services are key offerings that we are already looking at whilst there are also plans to add to the growing list of billers/utilities that customers can access on the platform.