USSD applications as compared to Mobile applications in Kenya.

Kenya has been known for its innovativeness in mobile applications development that have had large social impact even for people with basic feature phones. By use of USSD and SMS services, mobile banking innovations like Mpesa among others have been able to financially include those previously excluded from the banking system. Indeed USSD applications have renown usage in Network configuration and requests, call back services, customers surveys and customer update requests.

Besides that, there is an upward trend in the number of smartphones in use and the increasing mobile traffic from native mobile applications especially social media among Kenyans. In fact for your business to capture the attention of your consumers in this market, a strong online presence is no longer an option. And what better channel to engage your clients, than developing a mobile application for them?

Given these two options on how to drive a customer centric approach to your market, a question of which one is more effective in this kenyan market arises. For a startup or entrepreneur with limited resources, this can be a hard nut to crack. And to simply this, I looked into the the advantages of both.

USSDs are accessible to a large number of people as they can be accessed on feature phones. They are cheaper and easier to develop, and they don’t require an internet connection. On the other hand, native mobile application enhance communication as they can share photos, video hence giving a quality communication solution. The mobile apps can be a source of revenue when monetized and are cheaper to use once developed.

From the above it’s clear that these two mobile solutions are more of complementary solutions than substitutes and can be leveraged depending on your market segments to optimize your customer engagement for maximum gains. No wonder there has been an emerging trend of applications making the best of both worlds like the Safaricom backed cab hailing app, Little Cab which u can use via USSD a well as with its mobile app. At TrendPro, we specialize in developing your mobile and web applications and we integrate APIs for your USSD and SMS services from third party provider like Africa’s Talking so that you take advantage of these mobile applications without sacrificing any.

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