Nigerian banks have denied asking telecommunications giant, MTN, to impose a new charge on customers for using the firm’s access codes to conduct financial transactions.
MTN had earlier announced four naira charge for every 20 seconds of using USSD bank codes, claiming it took the decision as requested by the banks.
However, in a statement released by the Body of Bank CEOs, the commercial banks described MTN’s claim as untrue.
“The banks did not ask MTN to start charging customers as contained in the text message. The decision on whether, and what amount, to charge a customer for assessing USSD is entirely that of the telco company, in the same way a customer is billed for calls, SMS and data,” the statement read.
“MTN is the only company that is yet to implement end-user billing which is the standard practice for customer-initiated transactions. This is despite the fact that the banks, working with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), have engaged MTN over a period of more than one year to try and bring down the cost of USSD to aid financial inclusion,” the group added.
Minister of Communications, Isa Pantami has ordered the suspension of the plan, saying he was not briefed before the announcement by MTN.