One of the largest telecommunications network in Nigeria, MTN has proposed that it will be charging their customers on every banking transactions done with the USSD code. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has opposed to the plans by MTN to charge their subscribers for USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data) access to banking services from October 21, 2019.
Report says that MTN sent an SMS to its subscribers saying that the decision was on the request of the banks and would take effect from October 21, 2019.
The message says
“Yello , as requested by your bank, from October 21 , we will start charging you directly for USSD access to banking services . Please, contact your bank for more info”.From MTN
In response to the announcement, the CBN governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele said the bank would not allow that to happen. He said that:
“About four or five months ago , I held a meeting with some telecom companies as well as the leading banks in Nigeria at Central Bank , Lagos. At that time, we concluded that the use of USSD does not incur an additional cost on the infrastructure of the telecom company. However, the telecom companies disagreed with us. They said it was an additional investment on infrastructure and for that reason, they needed to impose it. I have told the banks that we will not allow this to happen. The banks are the people who give this business to the telecom companies and I leave the banks and the telecom companies to engage. I have told the banks that they have to move their business, move their traffic to a telecom company that is ready to provide it at the lowest possible, if not zero cost. And that is where we stand, and we must achieve it”.
The transactions likely to be affected by the charges include intra and inter bank money transfers, through USSD, e.t.c.