Nigerian Banks Reconnect MTN Customers To USSD


Nigerian Banks Reconnect Customers To USSD banks

Commercial banks reconnected MTN customers to banking channels on Sunday, Ejes Gist Nigeria can confirm, after disconnecting MTN customers from banking channels for 48 hours, including the Unstructured Supplementary Service Data, USSD and banking apps.

According to our source, the development occurred as a result of the involvement of Isa Pantami, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, and Godwin Emefiele, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

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EJES GIST report that banks blocked MTN customers on Friday, causing millions of MTN subscribers to be disappointed because they were unable to recharge airtime via USSD during the Easter holiday.

Nigerian Banks Reconnect MTN Customers To USSD

MTN is arguably Nigeria’s largest telecommunications provider, with approximately 77 million subscribers and about 45 percent of the overall telecommunication market share.

When the telco reduced the banks’ commission from an average of 3.5 percent to 2.5 percent, the blockade occurred. The banks had written to MTN, demanding that they return to the old commission system, otherwise they would block MTN airtime across all of their networks.

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Photo showing the logo of MTN Nigeria

Except for Zenith Bank, which was directly linked to MTN, the banks barred MTN from their banking networks, leaving millions of customers stranded because they couldn’t recharge virtually.

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For customers to recharge their phones, MTN bypassed banks in favour of fintech companies such as Flutterwave, Jumia Pay, OPay, Kuda, Carbon, and BillsnPay.

MTN, however, decided in a letter obtained by EJES GIST that the banks return to the previous 4.5 percent commission rate, while a meeting to reduce the charges will take place on Tuesday.

MTN Chief Executive Officer Karl Toriola signed the note, which was addressed to Herbert Wigwe, Chairman of the Body of Banks’ CEOs, on April 3, 2021. mtn nigeria banks  continue 

“In an effort to overcome the current USSD recharge impasse, considering the involvement of our regulators, we hereby accept that the banks return to the status quo of 4.5 percent commission,” Toriola wrote in the letter.

Nigerian Banks Reconnect MTN Customers To USSD

“However, on April 6, 2021, the banks and MTN Communications Nigeria Plc will meet to discuss various options that will result in cost reductions.”

MTN customers were then unblocked from banking networks, allowing them to recharge virtually through USSD and other channels linked to their accounts.

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