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Bank CEOs: We have no hand in N4 USSD charge

The chief executive officers of deposit money banks in the country have denied directing MTN Nigeria to charge customers for using unstructured supplementary service data (USSD) channels.

In a joint statement released on Tuesday, the bankers said the charges on financial transactions have not been changed.

“Our attention has been drawn to SMS sent on Saturday 19th October by MTN Nigeria Communications PLC (“MTN”) to customers of banks in Nigeria in respect of the above,” the statement read.

“The message states that the banks requested MTN to start charging customers for USSD transactions directly. It also asks customers to contact their banks for more information. We wish to state as follows:

“That the banks did not ask MTN to start charging customers as contained in the text message. The decision on whether, and what amount, to charge a customer
for accessing USSD is entirely that of the telco company, in the same way a customer is billed for calls, SMS and data.”

The CEOs went on to state that MTN is “the only telco that is yet to implement end-user billing which is the standard practice for customer-initiated transactions” despite meetings with the Central Bank of Nigeria since 2018 on reducing the cost of USSD to aid financial inclusion.

Expressing commitment to improving financial inclusion, the bankers said they would continue to advocate that telcos implement a low-pricing model for using USSD access codes.

Addressing the issue on the sidelines of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank meetings in Washington, Godwin Emefiele, the CBN governor, had told banks to ditch telcos that want to raise charges.

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source: The Cable News

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