Nigerians Lament: Banks Start Charging N6.98 For USSD Transactions

Many Nigerians on Friday took to Twitter to react and vent as they started getting charged N6.98 for each USSD

transaction they do.

Reports shows that Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) allows users without a smartphone or

data/internet connection to however, use mobile banking through the use of a code.

However, USSD-based mobile banking can be used for fund transfers, checking account balance and also generating

bank statement, among other uses.

However, many users of the service are now lamenting the N6.98 charge they started noticing for each transaction on

Friday.

“Welcome to USSD Banking.” “Please note, a N6.98 network charge will be applied to your account for banking services

on this channel,” one notice said.

Agreement between MNO and DMB

It will be recalled that back in March 2021, a joint statement released by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the

Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) said the Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) and Deposit Money Banks

(DMBs) however, agreed to the new charge of N6.98 as a flat rate customers have to pay for each transaction on the

Unstructured Supplementary Service Data(USSD) service.

The decision was part of an agreement reached with deposit money banks following a disagreement between banks

and telecom firms over USSD and other text message transaction requests.

The statement however, reads in part: “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.

“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.”

But there are fresh concerns about the hardship such charges will have on Nigerians.

Here are Some Reactions from Twitter:

@slow_burnXII : Eehhh orisirisi. Gtbank is now charging #6.98 for using USSD Banking. They say it’s network charge.

😂. Maybe they should hold their USSD banking o. I have bank app and I have data.
Yamayama

@Tomisin_oj: USSD is now N6.98 per transaction whether it’s successful or not

@AkwariCharles: Are you upset about the charge of N6.98 for USSD banking? Don’t worry.
Endure it for now, once we move into our new country, UAR, it won’t happen again.

By Cynthia N.

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