A full fledged war breaks out as Nigerian Banks use deceit to frame MTN in the controversial USSD N4 charge   


23 October 2019: A leaked memo has led to an ‘eye for an eye’ war between the Nigerian Banks and telecos.


Over the weekend, a text message was sent to all MTN subscribers according to which MTN Nigeria will have to charging N4 per 20 seconds for USSD access to banking services starting Monday, October 21st, 2019. The message also said that the need to contact their respective Banks for any complaints/queries.


Unstructured Supplementary Service Data ( USSD ) is a quick and easy solution for seamless financial transactions and payments using mobile networks. In Nigeria, this service is mostly used to make cash transfers and pay Bills


The regulatory body of telecom intervened and demanded the telecom to suspend this measure immediately.  


NCC team jumps in


In the World Bank/IMF meeting in Washington D.C., last week, CBN governor Godwin had instructed the banish telcos that raise charges on USSD transactions while Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, Nigeria's Minister of Communications, told the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to suspend the new charge.


Banks “ We never gave any directives to MTN!”


CEOs of the Nigerian Commercial Banks flat out denied directing MTN Nigeria to charge customers for using USSD channels for bank transactions.


The Plot thickens, as a leaked memo completely contradicts Bank CEOs statement.


A leaked memo seen by TheCable revealed that the banks actually did propose the telecom companies to charge customers directly for USSD services. This is against the initial denial by the Bankers.


The memo which was dated September 16, 2019, was addressed to the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON).


How will this affect the Mango People?


If this measure does get implemented, every telecom subscriber using their mobile platform to make transfers/ payment would be charged extra to do the same. Before this fiasco, customers paid as little as N20 for some USSD transactions, excluding bank charges to third parties.


According to Gbenga Adebayo, ALTON chairman, the new charges as advised by the bank CEOs would amount to double billing to customers.


He said banks currently have rates ranges from N10 to N50, as N4.5 per 20 seconds amounts to a minimum of 0.08% and a maximum of 40% of the charges to customers.



Reporting for EasyKobo on Wednesday , 23 October 2019 in Lagos, Nigeria

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