OBINNA EZUGWU

Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) and Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) have agreed to charge customers using unstructured supplementary service data (USSD) service a flat fee of N6.98 for each transaction.

This was contained in a joint statement released by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) on Tuesday.

The statement said the new charges replaces the current per billing structure.

According to the joint statement, Pantami chaired a meeting of key stakeholders to discuss an amicable resolution in the interest of the general public.

It was resolved that effective March 16, USSD services for financial transactions conducted at DMBs and all CBN – licensed institutions will be charged at a flat fee of N6.08 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,” the statement said.

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

“A settlement plan for outstanding payments incurred for USSD services, previously rendered by the MNOs, is being worked out by all parties in a bid to ensure that the matter is fully resolved.”

It noted that the impending suspension of banks from the USSD channel is hereby vacated.