One of the primary purposes of the creation of USSD in mobile communication technology was to build quick access to features of network operators from the keypad on your phone.
Known as the Unstructured Supplementary Service Data in full, USSD codes have been in use for many years now, and phone users have been dialing specific codes to receive services from their subscribed mobile network operators.
For instance, Safaricom customers view mobile balances through *144#, make data purchases on USSD *544#, conduct Bonga Points inquiries on *126#, and generate Mpesa statements on *334#… and there are many other shortcodes for many other primary SIM offerings and Value Added Services (VAS).
USSDs, also referred to as feature access codes, can also be utilized by other businesses and commercial entities and are now part of mainstream banking, driving financial inclusion to the unbanked and economically weaker sections of society as they work on basic phones without an internet connection.
Recently, in Kenya, the USSD technology platform has been adopted by emerging companies like those that help in airtime to cash conversion as it is also considered a secure and cost-effective way of conducting business transactions.
One such company is Olickhom Investment of the Olickhom app, which lets you convert excess airtime credit to real money sent directly to your Mpesa. Learn how you can quickly make this Safaricom airtime to Mpesa conversion using their USSD;
How to use USSD to convert Safaricom airtime to cash
1. Dial the USSD code *702*55# to initiate airtime to cash conversion from your Safaricom line with the credit – It works on all phone models
2. Once you’ve dialed this quick code, an interactive menu of options will appear on your screen. Go to ‘Convert Airtime to Mpesa’
3. Proceed by pressing 1 to confirm you want to give Safaricom airtime for cash and input the amount you wish to exchange, then send
4. The USSD system will ask you to confirm the airtime amount you want to give up for cash, and it will display the money you will receive on your Mpesa at the end of a successful conversion. Take a moment to verify these details and choose to ‘Proceed’ to go to the last step
When you convert Safaricom airtime to cash by dialing this easy USSD code, Olickhom will send you 75% of the worth of your Safaricom airtime. For example, if you exchange Ksh20 airtime value, you get Ksh15 Mpesa money.
5. You will receive an SMS with transfer codes before getting your money. Forward this SMS for free to 140 to complete the conversion process. Olickhom will send the money directly to your Mpesa account in less than a minute. You can also do this using the OLICKHOM – AIRTIME TO MPESA app.