Banks Lift Blockage Of USSD Transactions On MTN


Commercial banks have reconnected MTN customers earlier denied access to the unstructured supplementary service data (USSD) payment channels.

In a letter seen by Newsmen, yesterday, Karl Toriola, managing director and chief executive officer of MTN Nigeria, announced a decision to revert the discount offered to banks on airtime sales to 4.5 percent commission.

The mobile network operator (MNO) had reduced banks’ commission from an average of 3.5 percent to 2.5 percent, this led to a disagreement between MTN and commercial banks.

“Our virtual meeting between yourself (Wigwe) and Segun Agbaje (MD of GTBank) on the one hand and myself (Toriola) and Modupe Kadri (chief financial officer of MTN Nigeria) on the other refers,” the letter read.

Banks lift blockage of USSD transactions on MTN | TheCable

“In an attempt to resolve the current USSD recharge impasse, given the interventions from our regulators, we hereby agree The Banks revert to the status quo of 4.5% commission.

“However, the banks and MTN Communications Nigeria Plc shall sit to agree on various options that will result in the reduction in the costs on 6th of April 2021.”

Commercial banks had asked MTN to reverse its action to the old commission or would block MTN airtime recharge services in both mobile banking applications and unstructured supplementary service data (USSD) payment channels.

Due to MTN’s refusal to revert back the commission percentage, commercial banks except for Zenith Bank, which is connected directly to the MNO, denied customers access to the USSD platform, leaving many subscribers stranded and frustrated as they were informed to recharge their lines with physical cards.

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