The SMS reads:
“Please note that from Oct 21st, we will charge N4 per 20 seconds for USSD access to banking services. Please contact your bank for more info. Thank you.”
This implied that subscribers would be charged N12 for every 1 min of USSD banking transactions. In other words, if each MTN’s 60 million customers carry out a bank transaction in one minute via USSD, MTN will be making N720 million daily.
MTN Nigeria yesterday said it will go ahead to charge its customers for Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) voice or text message which allows them access to bank services via their mobile phones.
Read more: https://t.co/LAFFl0kJC8
— Daily Trust (@daily_trust) October 21, 2019
The Nigerian Minister of Communication and Technology, Dr Isa Ali Pantami directed NCC has issued out directives to NCC to ask MTN to suspend the planned charge. The Central Bank of Nigeria also opposes MTN’s plan to charge subscribers. It has instructed banks to stop transacting with Telco operators that charge customers for transactions.
“Those who which to continue should move their traffic to a telecom company that is ready to provide it at the lowest possible or zero cost.”
— Federal Ministry of Communications, Nigeria (@ngrcommtech) October 20, 2019
Many thanks for drawing my attention to it. We have directed NCC to ask MTN to suspend the plan. We are not aware of it officially. We will investigate and make sure right thing is done. Best wishes! https://t.co/S21upgbzE1
— Isa Ali Pantami, PhD (@DrIsaPantami) October 20, 2019
MTN’s decision is alleged to be as a result of disagreements with banks. According to our source, banks refuse to remit funds to maintain the Telco’s ICT infrastructure, out of the sum they charge customers per transaction.
It should be recalled that the proposed Nigeria Communications Service bill has not been passed into law. When approved, subscribers will have to pay a 9% tax on electronic communication services such as voice calls, data usage, SMS, pay-TV and internet services, to the federal account.
Banks also charge customers transaction fees, especially on transfers made to other banks. In light of financial inclusion, how will customers survive all these deductions from Telcos, banks and the federal government?
More on TechGist Africa:
- Pretoria-based TechTribe Accelerator Scouts for 100 Startups in SADC
- Police Randomly Search Mobile Devices, Intensifies Social Media Policing in Egypt
- Old Mutual Leverages Amazon Web Services for Cloud Storage
- Cell C South Africa to Sell Assets over $596M Debt
- Rwandan-based Mara Launches New Phone Factory in South Africa
Get real time update about this post categories directly on your device, subscribe now.