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Nigerian lenders bar MTN subscribers from USSD, banking apps

Joseph Oyekanmi

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ÙSSD commission impasse: MTN, banks reach agreement

GTBank, Access Bank and other commercial banks in Nigeria have blocked MTN subscribers from using their services over a disagreement over commission rate. 

MTN failed to reach an agreement with the banks concerning the fee-sharing from the Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD). The telco had cut the commission rate to 2.5% from 3.5%, but the lenders requested the status quo be maintained.

Failure to reach a compromise by parties spurred the lenders to bar MTN subscribers from accessing financial services such as USSD and banking apps.

While some MTN customers began to experience the inability to access their bank’s digital services on Thursday, April 1, 2021, others noticed they have been blocked on Friday, April 2.

A source close to the disagreement between the telecom company and the lenders said the block was initiated by the financial firms who were dissatisfied with the commission.

The insider stated that MTN was not aware of the block until customers started complaining.

The anonymous said only Zenith Bank didn’t block their subscribers: “Please note that MTN didn’t cut off customers and has no hand in this. This is strictly the banks acting on their own. “We woke up this morning to see that MTN customers were cut off from USSD services overnight. This has come as a surprise as there was no formal communication from the banks to their customers prior to their taking this action.”

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