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Bank customers will now pay N6.98 for USSD transactions – CBN, NCC

NEWSMAN, Abuja – Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said customers will pay N6.98 per transaction every time they use USSD services.

Following CBN and Nigerian Communications Commission’s (NCC) announcement of the N6.98 charge, telecommunications operators, yesterday, suspended their planned withdrawal of Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) short code service, otherwise known as banks’ transfers from banks another financial institutions in the country. The withdrawal was to take effect from Monday, March 15.

The telcos had hinged their decision to suspend USSD service on the failure of banks and other financial service providers to pay N42 billion debts incurred by banks in the last eight months through the use of the platform.

A meeting of stakeholders on Monday evening in Abuja by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami, telcos agreed to suspend service withdrawal.

At the meeting, it was agreed that effective yesterday, March 16, USSD services for financial transactions conducted at DMBs and all Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) licensed institutions would be charged at a flat rate of N6.98 per transaction. This replaces the current per session billing structure, which is targeted at ensuring a cheaper average cost for customers to enhance financial inclusion.

The above means that there is now a flat fee per USSD session however long or whatever the number of messages making up the session. Before this new rate, a session usually last 20 seconds, meaning that for each session N4 is charged, even if the transaction is not completed or failed along the line. But in this new rate, 20 seconds session has been abolished, and no cost implication until a transaction is completed, Guardian reported.

Also, a statement jointly signed by CBN’s Acting Director, Corporate Communications, Osita Nwanisobi and Director, Public Affairs, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Ikechukwu Adinde, noted that the new approach will ensure transparency and same cost, regardless of number of sessions per transaction.

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. This replaces the current per session billing structure, ensuring a much cheaper average cost for customers to enhance financial inclusion,” it read in part this approach is transparent and will ensure the amount remains the same, regardless of the number of sessions per transaction.

the statement read

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