Don’t APProach Your Credit The USSD Way!

This is a response to an article..

Nobody Really Needs Prepaid Top Up Via An App

The writer makes a case for using USSD code to topup, rather than using an app.


How exactly would you recharge a Teleology line, using USSD, with credit from your MTN line attached to your Gtbank account.??

What if that line has been ported to a different network from the original

First, as far as I know,  no one makes an app that topups airtime ONLY. Usually, this is just added to other functions. And certainly Fintech is well beyond just topping up airtime.

I use an app to top up my airtime, among other things. . It is on my homepage, so accessing it is a breeze.


I get a 5% discount on my topup.

Now we need to think in terms of percentages, rather than absolutes. If you topup for yourself loved ones, tram, etc,  often, that can add up to quite a bit of savings.

Little Drops Of Water Make A Mighty Ocean

If you earn 5% ROI on a transaction you perform often, that’s not bad. 

If you need to topup for yourself, children in school and wifey, how convenient is it to use USSD? Perhaps you regularly give a weekly allocation to members of your team, can you really go the USSD route?

The assertion that you have to keep feeding in your debit card details to topup is not quite correct. Many of these topup apps allow you maintain a wallet, from where you can topup in a matter of seconds (certainly less than a minute).. .  instantaneously, so to speak.

If you use your USSD, you run the constant risk of crediting the wrong line because of some transposed digits which you are compelled to tap out . If you use a topup app, it is a matter of selecting from your phone contacts, directly (in most instances). Some of them.allow you define contacts that you topup often, for easy stress-free selection.

I know someone who accidentally loaded 2,000 Naira instead of 200 Naira when she was very low on cash. Imagine if it had been 20,000 Naira that was tapped out inadvertently .

It is easier to track how much you are spending on phone topups with a topup app. We can all do with that level of financial control and monitoring.. in this lean era.

Many networks wouldn’t allow you topup your phone via USSD when you don’t have some amounts left as credit on your phone. For Airtel (Nigeria) and Etisalat for example, you must have 5 naira on your line to use the USSD to topup.  Makes no sense as you usually want to topup when you suddenly run out of credit. What if that happens at midnight when you need to make that urgent call?.

As regards how lucrative in terms of  of commercial topup , it is a matter of your network. It is strictly about turnover. If you have a turnover of 20K that you earn 1K on with littlle or no effort, that’s not so shabby.

Again, it is about percentages. Imagine having 20 dealers that help you do that , that could add up to a tidy profit daily..

Unlike with the USSD style where you do not get to specify the network, a ported line cannot be handled.  A topup app allows you explicitly specify the mobile network in question.


-You must have data to topup your phone. Easy to track with a data metering application so you are never caught without data. In connection with this, there may be a data network outage which prevents you from using your topup app.

-The app provider may occasionally have a connectivity issue. But then the USSD method is not totally immune from occasional outages either.

For me, the advantages of using an app are more plentiful than the supposed simplicity of hopping up the phone credit via USSD codes.
For me, going the USSD way over the app way is completely antediluvian…  like choosing DOS over Windows.

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