Kuda Bank is one of Nigeria’s most popular digital challenger banks, providing modern mobile-based financial services. But does Kuda offer USSD access codes that allow transactions on basic feature phones without mobile data?
In this article, we’ll look at how USSD banking works, Kuda’s services, and the alternatives available to Kuda customers who want to bank without mobile internet.
Understanding USSD Banking
USSD, or Unstructured Supplementary Service Data, has become a vital way for Nigerians to access financial services through their mobile phones. Here’s an overview:
- USSD banking utilizes numeric shortcodes like *901# to open sessions directly with your bank.
- It works on all phones, even basic feature phones without data, as it uses your airtime credit.
- USSD allows you to check balances, transfer funds, pay bills, buy airtime top-up, and more.
- Requests happen in real-time through interactive text-based menus once connected to your bank.
- It provides key financial access for the unbanked without requiring a smartphone or mobile data.
USSD codes have become hugely popular in Nigeria for affordable mobile banking among all demographics. But does a modern, mobile-focused bank like Kuda offer them?
Does Kuda Bank Have a USSD Code?
As a digital-only bank with no physical branches, Kuda Bank aims to provide all its banking services through its mobile app.
At this time, Kuda Bank does not have its own USSD code for customers to access accounts and transactions through text menus on feature phones.
Kuda’s mobile app requires a smartphone and active internet connection. While convenient for tech-savvy users, this limits access for Nigerians without mobile data or smartphones.
Kuda has focused heavily on its app-based experience since its launch in 2019. So USSD functionality has not been part of its mobile banking strategy so far.
Why Kuda May Not Have Adopted USSD Yet
There are a few factors that contribute to Kuda not yet supporting USSD code banking:
- Digital-first model – Kuda aims for straight-through digital account opening and money management within its app.
- Target demographics – The bank focuses on younger, urban, tech-comfortable users already accustomed to apps.
- Product roadmap priorities – USSD may be lower on Kuda’s backlog compared to other planned features.
- Operational costs – Integrating USSD capabilities requires technical build-out and partnerships.
- Security – App users go through KYC. USSD risks more potential fraud without app security.
While Kuda caters well to digitally-savvy clients, adopting USSD could expand its reach to all demographics.
How Kuda Customers Can Manage Accounts Without Data
While Kuda doesn’t offer its own USSD access, customers still have options to bank without mobile data:
- Airtime top-up – Kuda customers can buy airtime using USSD codes from telcos like MTN, Airtel, etc directly.
- ATM withdrawals – Kuda Visa debit cards allow cash withdrawals at ATMs nationwide.
- Account freezing – Customers can freeze debit cards if phone is lost or stolen via USSD.
- Alternate USSD codes – Banking aggregators like Enalyzer offer Kuda account support via generic USSD.
- WiFi hotspots – The Kuda app can be accessed anywhere with WiFi, even without mobile data.
So while not as seamless, Kuda users aren’t completely stranded without mobile data access thanks to workarounds.
The Future of USSD Banking at Kuda
Going forward, it’s possible Kuda may add its own USSD code for more universal access.
The bank added account freezing via USSD in 2021, showing intent to enable non-app functionality.
As Kuda continues growing its user base nationally, building out USSD capability could help drive more inclusive financial access to its services.
Emerging competition among digital banks may also prompt Kuda to reduce onboarding friction and offer USSD as a value-added service.
Kuda Bank currently does not offer a proprietary USSD code for customers to access their accounts via text menus on feature phones without data.
But alternatives like third-party banking USSD services, cash withdrawals, and WiFi hotspot usage provide some ways Kuda can be used even without smartphone data connectivity.
And as Kuda continues to evolve its offering, USSD integration may be on the horizon to provide more universally accessible mobile banking to all Nigerians.Sharing Is Caring: