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Dial a Code, Get it Done: Mastering Mobile Banking with USSD

Victor Odogwu
Published: July 2, 2024

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An illustration of a well-dressed businessman wearing a suit and tie, looking down at a smartphone or mobile device he is holding in his hands.

Mobile banking has emerged as a game-changer for millions of Nigerians. And one of the most powerful tools in this revolution is USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data) banking. With just a few clicks on your mobile phone, you can conduct a variety of banking transactions swiftly and securely without even downloading an app!


What is USSD Banking?

USSD banking leverages a communication technology that allows you to interact with your bank’s computer systems via simple codes or strings sent through your mobile phone. It works across all GSM networks and on virtually any type of mobile device, whether basic or smartphone.


To use Sterling Bank’s USSD banking, simply dial *822# or another code provided by your bank. This will launch a text menu on your phone’s screen, prompting you to select the desired banking service or enter additional details as needed.

What Can You Do with *822#

So what exactly can you do with Sterling Bank’s USSD banking in Nigeria? Here are some of the most common services offered and all you need to do is dial *822# and follow the prompts to access any of these services:


1. Account Balances with *822#:

Check your current or available account balances for savings or current accounts in real time.


2. Mini-Statement with *822#:

View your recent account transactions and activity without requesting a full statement.


3. Funds Transfer with *822#:

Send money instantly between your accounts held at the same bank or to other Nigerian bank accounts.




4. Airtime Purchase with *822#:

Conveniently buy airtime/top-up credit for your mobile number or for someone else.


5. Bill Payments with *822#:

Pay utility bills like electricity, cable TV, and internet directly from your account.


6. Changing PIN with *822#:

Update the PIN you use for USSD banking to enhance account security.



The Benefits of USSD

There are many reasons why USSD banking has gained immense popularity across Nigeria:


1. Accessibility:

With USSD, you can bank literally anywhere as long as you have a mobile network connection. No need for a smartphone or internet.


2. Convenience:

The process is quick, easy and doesn’t require much technical know-how or an internet connection.


3. Security:

USSD sessions are encrypted end-to-end and cannot be traced, reducing fraud risks. However, users should be cautious and ensure they do not share sensitive information, such as their PIN or banking details, to prevent falling victim to social engineering attacks.


So familiarize yourself with your bank’s USSD string and start enjoying the true convenience of mobile banking with USSD. It’s the fastest way to bank on-the-go!


For more on what *822# by Sterling offers, click here.


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