Important Points About USSD and Bharat QR Code

Dear Aspirants, as we all know the importance of Banking Awareness section.  It will be very useful for IBPS/SBI and other bank exams. Here the Team IG provides you all Banking Study notes in daily basis for those who are preparing for the exams. We provided the study notes of USSD and Bharat QR.

Important Points About USSD and Bharat QR Code – General Awareness

Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD):

Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD), sometimes referred to as “Quick Codes” or “Feature codes“, is a communications protocol used by GSM cellular telephones to communicate with the mobile network operator’s computers. USSD can be used for WAP browsing, prepaid callback service, mobile-money services, location-based content services, menu-based information services, and as part of configuring the phone on the network.

USSD messages are up to 182 alphanumeric characters long. Unlike Short Message Service (SMS) messages, USSD messages create a real-time connection during a USSD session. The connection remains open, allowing a two-way exchange of a sequence of data. This makes USSD more responsive than services that use SMS.


When a user sends a message to the phone company network, it is received by a computer dedicated to USSD. The computer’s response is sent back to the phone, generally in a basic format that can easily be seen on the phone display. Messages sent over USSD are not defined by any standardization body, so each network operator can implement whatever is most suitable for its customers.

USSD can be used to provide independent calling services such as a callback service (to reduce phone charges while roaming), enhance mobile marketing capabilities or interactive data services.

USSD is commonly used by prepaid GSM cellular phones to query the available balance. The vendor’s “check balance” application hides the details of the USSD protocol from the user. On some pay as you go networks, such as Tesco Mobile, once a user performs an action that costs money, the user sees a USSD message with his or her new balance. USSD can also be used to refill the balance on the user’s SIM card and to deliver one time passwords or PIN codes.

Some operators use USSD to provide access to real-time updates from social-networking websites like Facebook and Twitter. Wikipedia uses USSD to send articles to some feature phones.

USSD is sometimes used in conjunction with SMS. The user sends a request to the network via USSD, and the network replies with an acknowledgement of receipt:

“Thank you, your message is being processed. A message will be sent to your phone.”

Subsequently, one or more mobile terminated SMS messages communicate the status and/or results of the initial request. In such cases, SMS is used to “push” a reply or updates to the handset when the network is ready to send them. In contrast, USSD is used for command-and-control only.

Technical details

Most GSM phones have USSD capability. USSD is generally associated with real-time or instant messaging services. There is no store-and-forward capability, as is typical of other short-message protocols like SMS. In other words, an SMSC is not present in the processing path.

USSD Phase 1, as specified in GSM 02.90, only supports mobile-initiated (“pull”) operations. In the core network, the message is delivered over MAP, USSD Phase 2, as specified in GSM 03.90. After entering a USSD code on a GSM handset, the reply from the GSM operator is displayed within a few seconds.


A typical USSD message starts with an asterisk (*) followed by digits that comprise commands or data. Groups of digits may be separated by additional asterisks. The message is terminated with a number sign (#).



  • when the user dials a code, e.g. *139# from a GSM mobile handset


  • when the user receives a push message from the network; primarily used for promotional services


BharatQR, developed by NPCI, Mastercard and Visa, is an integrated payment system in India. The system, which was launched in September 2016, facilitates users to transfer their money from one source to another. The money transferred through BharatQR is received directly in the user’s linked bank account. It provides a common interface for American Express, Visa, Mastercard, and RuPay cards. As opposed to other such systems, used by private companies and banks, BharatQR is interoperable with all the banks. Currently, BharatQR is supported on Android and iOS devices.


BharatQR was launched in September 2016 as per the directions set by the Reserve Bank of India with aim of facilitating India in transition to a less-cash society. The system helps in enabling digital payments to reduce the usage of card swiping machines for payment. A number of banks supported BharatQR, before the system was launched, and got ready to deploy it.

Although, BharatQR primarily works by scanning QR codes, it is not the only way to make payments. It allows users to pay through Aadhar number, UPI payment address or through account number and IFSC code, thus, minimizing the need to pay using debit and credit card which are, supposedly, less secure than BharatQR. The system, also, supports Dynamic QR code generation which eliminates the need of entering the amount for payment.


By early 2018, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation is planning to introduce BharatQR code enabled AFC gates at all the stations of the Airport Express Line allowing passengers to use the system while using the Line. Two entry points at Lal Qila metro station and two exit points at Jama Masjid metro station are set by DMRC providing commuters to enter and exit using QR codes.

Samsung Pay, which earlier in 2017, integrated Samsung Pay mobile wallet with Unified Payments Interface, integrated BharatQR to pay at merchants supporting UPI payment system.

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30 Days Study Plan for IBPS Clerk Mains 2017
Days Quantitative Aptitude Current Affairs Static GK / Banking Awareness Reasoning English
Day-1 Simplification, Wrong term in Number Series Sep 1-7 CMs and Governors / About RBI and its Responsibilities Coding and Decoding Errors in Articles and Preposition
Day-2 Average, Percentage and Partnership Sep 8-14 Country, Capital and Currency (1sthalf) – HQ of banks and Heads Relationship Errors in Nouns and Pronouns
Day-3 Ratio and Problems based on Ages Sep 15-21 Country, Capital and Currency (2ndhalf) – Types of Cheques Direction Sense Errors in Conjunction and Tenses
Day-4 Time & Work and Pipes & Cistern Sep 22-30 International Organisations and its HQ – Types of Accounts Syllogism Errors in If clauses and Relative Pronoun
Day-5 Time & Distance and Problems based on Trains Oct 1 – 7 National Parks (1st half) – Types of Cards Input and Output Errors in Adverb and Adjective
Day-6 Simple Interest and Compound Interest Oct 8 – 14 National Parks (2nd half)About RRBs Decision Making Errors in Active/Passive voice
Day-7 Profit and Loss Oct 15-21 Important Days with themes(2017) / About Payments Banks & NPCI Course of Action Errors in Comparison
Day-8 Probability and Mixture & Allegation Oct 22-31 City and Rivers with Origin / About NBFCs and Small Fin Banks Statements and assumption Errors in Direct/Indirect speech
Day-9 Boats and Streams Nov 1- 7 Power plants and Dams / About SEBI and IRDAI Linear Sitting arrangements Errors in Verbs
Day-10 Mensuration Nov 8-14 Important Lakes and Sanctuaries / About Credit Rating Agencies Circular Sitting arrangements Meaning for Idioms and Phrases (1st half)
Day-11 Data Interpretation (Table and Pie chart) Nov 15-21 Dance and Festival / Types of Loans and Negotiable Instruments Parallel Sitting Arrangements Meaning for Idioms and Phrases (2nd  half)
Day-12 Data Interpretation (Bar and Line Graph) Nov 22 – 30 2011 Census / About IMPS, NEFT, RTGS Puzzle Phrase replacement (Vocabulary based)
Day-13 Data Interpretation ( Caselet ) and Quadratic Equations Dec 1-7 Important Temples , Mosque-Church / About UPI and  BHIM Input and Output (New pattern) Single fillers
Day-14 Time & Work (Applied in DI) Dec 8-14 National and International Stadiums / India’s GDP Prediction Coding and Decoding (New pattern) Wording Arrangement within a sentence
Day-15 Time & Distance (Applied in DI) Dec 15-21 Important Universities in India / SARFAESI Act Direction sense(New pattern) Sentence Arrangement
Day-16 Simple Interest and Compound Interest (Applied in DI) Dec 22-31 Superlatives (Largest, smallest, etc.) / Basel norms Blood Relationship (New pattern) RC based on Economics and Social issues
Day-17 Profit and Loss (Applied in DI) Jan 1-7 Cabinet Ministers and their Constituency / About MUDRA Bank Data Sufficiency Double Fillers
Day-18 Boats and Streams (Applied in DI) Jan 8- 14 Summits / About USSD and Bharat QR Linear Sitting arrangements (New pattern) Sentence Correction andCloze Test
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