By Elizabeth Adegbesan
The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, and Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) today said that bank customers are to begin paying N6.98 kobo per Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) transactions commencing today. The price replaced the former per session billing structure for USSD transactions.
They disclosed this in a joint statement on pricing of USSD services, signed by Osita Nwanisobi, AG, Director Corporate Communications, CBN and Director Public Affairs, NCC, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde.
It stated: “Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) and Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) have had protracted disagreements concerning the appropriate USSD pricing model for financial transactions.
“This resulted in the accumulation of outstanding fees for USSD services rendered leading to potential service withdrawal by the MNOs.”
“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 Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) 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.”
Recall that the telecommunications operators were to commence the withdrawal of Unstructured USSD short code service banks and other financial service operators leverage on their platforms to service the banking community on March 15.
The operators under the aegis of the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) claimed that the banks owed them over N42 billion in debts for the past eight months.