The introduction of USSD codes (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data) has changed the Nigerian banking system completely. Today, mobile banking services have been deployed by almost every bank in Nigeria.
For starters, USSD codes are shortcodes that commonly begins with an asterisk/star (*) symbol and end with a hash/hashtag (#) symbol e.g. *123#.
Nigeria Banks USSD codes (in alphabetical order)
- Access (Diamond) Bank – *901#
- EcoBank – *326#
- Fidelity Bank – *770#
- First Bank – *894#
- First City Monument Bank (FCMB) – *389*214#
- Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) – *737#
- Heritage Bank – *322*00#
- JAIZ Bank – *389*301#
- Keystone Bank – *7111#
- Polaris Bank – *833#
- Stanbic IBTC Bank – *909#
- Sterling Bank – *822#
- United Bank for Africa (UBA) – *919#
- Union Bank – *826#
- Unity Bank – *7799#
- Wema Bank – *945#
- Zenith Bank – *966#
- TajBank – *898#
How to use USSD codes to perform bank transactions
- Input the bank’s USSD code into your phone’s dialer and hit the dial/call button
- Follow the prompt displayed on your phone’s display.
- If you’re using a bank’s USSD code for the first time, you’ll be asked to set up a PIN which you’ll use to approve/verify transactions. Some banks might require you to use the last 4 – 6 digits of your debit/ATM card as your security PIN.
And that’s it. Super easy. To use the USSD code of any Nigerian bank to perform transactions though, you need to have an active account with that particular bank — except you’re trying to open a new account using the USSD code. Also, the number you’re dialling the code from must be associated with your account in the bank.
If you no longer use the number associated with your bank account, or you have misplaced the SIM card, you should contact your bank to change the phone number associated with your account. Alternatively, you can retrieve the SIM card from your network carrier.
Albeit poor cellular connection/network reception/signal strength are some limitations, USSD Banking is a super innovative technology that has allowed both low and high-income individuals enjoy seamless banking experiences without the internet. And while USSD services are mostly free to use, some banks charge a fee in the range of 5 – 20 naira for every successful transaction/activity carried out using their USSD interface.