Banks, MTN resumes USSD service after feud settlement


After the two parties reached an agreement, MTN customers in Nigeria can now recharge using the Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) and banking apps.

Millions of subscribers who had been disappointed by their inability to recharge airtime through USSD can now breathe a sigh of relief, according to reports.

MTN had lowered the banks’ commission from an average of 3.5 percent to 2.5 percent, but the banks had objected and had written to MTN requesting that they return to the previous commission, or they would block MTN airtime across all of their networks.

MTN customers were later disconnected from the networks by all banks except Zenith, but the impasse was finally resolved on Sunday after around 48 hours.

However, in a letter dated April 3, 2021, signed by MTN Chief Executive Officer, Karl Toriola as obtained by The PUNCH, MTN has now agreed that the banks revert to the status quo 4.5% commission while further meeting has been scheduled for Tuesday.

“In an effort to overcome the current USSD recharge impasse, considering the interference from our regulators, we hereby accept that the banks return to the status quo of 4.5 percent commission,” the letter to Herbert Wigwe, Chairman of the Body of Banks’ CEOs, reads.

However, the banks and MTN Communications Nigeria Plc shall sit to agree on various options that will result in the reduction in the costs on 6th of April 2021.”


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