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Banks resolve issues with MTN, lift blockage on USSD



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Commercial banks have reconnected MTN customers earlier denied access to the unstructured supplementary service data (USSD) payment channels.
In a letter signed by the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of MTN Nigeria, Karl Toriola, the telecom giant announced a decision to revert discount offered to banks on airtime sales to 4.5 percent commission.
The mobile network operator (MNO) had reduced banks’ commission from an
average of 3.5 percent to 2.5 percent, this led to a disagreement between MTN and commercial banks.
The letter reads in part, ” In an attempt to resolve the current USSD recharge impasse, given the interventions from our regulators, we hereby agree The Banks revert to the status quo of 4.5% commission.
“However, the banks and MTN
Communications Nigeria Plc, shall sit to agree on various options that will result in the reduction in the costs on 6th of April 2021.”
Commercial banks had asked MTN to reverse its action to the old commission or would block MTN airtime recharge services in both mobile banking applications and unstructured supplementary service data (USSD) payment channels.
Due to MTN’s refusal to revert back the commission percentage, commercial banks except Zenith Bank, which is connected directly to the MNO, denied customers access to the USSD platform, leaving many subscribers stranded and frustrated as they were informed to recharge their lines with physical cards.
On Friday, Isa Pantami, minister of communications and digital economy, had said the issue encountered by MTN users through the USSD channel will be resolved soon.
MTN had earlier on Saturday offered alternative channels for its subscribers to use in recharging their lines such
dialling *904# and *606#, and other electronic payment platforms.

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