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BREAKING: CBN introduces new charges for USSD banking services



BREAKING CBN introduces new charges for USSD banking services

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has introduced new charges for customers using the Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) banking services.

CBN disclosed that with effective Tuesday, customers will pay a flat fee of N6.98 per transaction each time they use USSD services.

BREAKING: CBN introduces new charges for USSD banking services

Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele

The apex bank declared that the new charges were part of the agreement reached when telecommunication operators and banks met on Monday to deliberate the N42bn debt owed mobile operators by banks.

This was enclosed in a statement released on Tuesday and jointly signed by Osita Nwanisobi, the CBN Acting Director, Corporate Communications and Ikechukwu Adinde, Director, Public Affairs, Nigerian Communications Commission.

The statement was tagged, ‘Joint Statement by Central Bank of Nigeria and Nigerian Communications Commission On Pricing Of Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) Services’.

It read in part, “We are pleased to announce that after comprehensive deliberations on the key issues, a resolution framework acceptable to all parties was agreed thus:

“Effective March 16, 2021, USSD services for financial transactions conducted at DMBs (Deposit Money Banks) and all CBN-licensed institutions will be charged at a flat fee of N6.98 per transaction. This replaces the current per session billing structure, ensuring a much cheaper average cost for customers to enhance financial inclusion. This approach is transparent and will ensure the amount remains the same, regardless of the number of sessions per transaction.

“To promote transparency in its administration, the new USSD charges will be collected on behalf of MNOs (Mobile Network Operators) directly from customers’ bank accounts. Banks shall not impose additional charges on customers for use of the USSD channel.”

The Federal Government had a week ago requested that telecommunication operators put on hold, their imminent suspension of USSD services over a N42bn debt owed by banks.

Isa Pantami, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, had called together a meeting with financial institutions and mobile network operators on Monday.

The Central Bank of Nigeria stated that the new charges was part of the resolve reached at the meeting.

The statement both issued by the CBN and the NCC also stated that a settlement plan for outstanding payments incurred for USSD services, earlier rendered by mobile network operators was being worked out by all parties in a bid to guarantee that the matter is completely settled.

It declared that financial institutions and telcos will deliberate and decide on the operational modalities for the execution of the new USSD pricing framework, including sharing of Application Programme Interface to allow smooth, direct and transparent customer billing.

“With the above resolutions, the impending suspension of DMBs from the USSD channel is hereby vacated. Therefore, DMBs shall no longer be disconnected from the USSD channel.

“The general public is reminded that the USSD channel is optional, as several alternative channels such as mobile apps, internet banking and ATMs may be used for financial transactions.

“The CBN and NCC shall continue to engage relevant operators and all stakeholders to promote cheaper, seamless access to mobile and financial services for all Nigerians,” the statement added.


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