The Nigerian banking sector and the Telecommunications industry recently, have been at loggerheads over a certain debt that the Telecommunication and service providers were owing some of the Nigerian Banks. This loggerhead over the debt owed, led to a threat by the Service Providers to immediately suspend the USSD service currently being rendered to Nigerian customers.
This led to a an urgent meeting between stakeholders of the industry, including the Nigerian Communications Commission, and the Central Bank Of Nigeria. The Minister for Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami was also present at the meeting, held on Monday to discuss the way forward over the lingering issue bordering on the N42 Billion debt owed by the Nigerian banks.
The disagreement was as a result of increased concerns about the appropriate pricing model for USSD transactions and pricing, ultimately leading to the accumulated debt.
In a joint statement signed by both the communications heads of the CBN and the NCC, it was announced that both industries have come to the agreement to fix the charge for Unstructured Supplementary Service Data Service at a flat rate price of N6.98 per transactions as from Tuesday, 17th of March, 2021.
They information also further clarified that the new service charge fee per transaction conducted at all CBN-licensed institutions would now replace the previously existing billing system, so as to make sure that the average cost of transaction for a customer would be cheaper, ensuring financial freedom.
Also, the two stakeholders further decided to permanently stop the attempted disconnection of DMBs connected to the USSD system. The new charge would be collected directly from the bank account of customers so as to ensure a fair and transparent medium of payment. They further admonished banks not to tender additional charges to financial transactions.
How does this affect the average Nigerian account holder? The above information entails that for any USSD transaction, or in other words, SMS banking, a flat charge of N6.98 would be charged, and that NO FURTHER AMOUNT WOULD BE DEDUCTED FROM THE CUSTOMER'S ACCOUNT.
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