Breaking: Nigerians to pay N6.98 per USSD Financial Service Transaction - CBN

The Central Bank of Nigeria has, Tuesday, announced that "effective March 16, 2021, USSD services for financial transactions conducted at DMBs (Deposit Money Banks) and all CBN-licensed institutions will be charged at a flat fee of N6.98 per transaction".

The charge, the CBN noted, were part of the agreements after banks and telecommunication operators met on Monday to discuss the ₦42bn debt owed to mobile operators by banks.

The Federal Government had last week asked telecommunication operators to put on hold their impending suspension of USSD services over the debt owed by banks.

The apex bank, in the statement jointly signed by the CBN Ag. Director of Corporate Communication, Osita  Nwanisobi and the Director of Public Affairs, Nigeria Communication Commission, Dr Ikechukwu Adinde, pointed out that USSD services being a critical channel for delivering financial services particularly for the underserved and/or financially excluded, it was in the best interest of apex Bank to resolve the lingering dispute and ensure uninterrupted services to customers on the channel. 

Acording to CBN, this new decision 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 (Mobile Network Operators) directly from customers’ bank accounts. Banks shall not impose additional charges on customers for us of the USSD channel", the apex Bank added.

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