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Breaking News: MTN Nigeria’s USSD codes now powered by Flutterwave, others, as Banks boycott operator

MTN Nigeria has reverted commercial banks’ commission to 4.5% after Nigerian banking and communication regulators intervened in its dispute with Nigerian Banks. This move by MTN corroborates the statement made on Friday, by the Nigerian government that talks to resolve the dispute have “reached an advanced stage.”  A statement signed by MTN Chief Executive Officer,…
Breaking News: MTN Nigeria’s USSD codes now powered by Flutterwave, others, as Banks boycott operator

Nigerian telcos' revenues are under pressure as people switch to digital calls

MTN Nigeria has reverted commercial banks’ commission to 4.5% after Nigerian banking and communication regulators intervened in its dispute with Nigerian Banks. This move by MTN corroborates the statement made on Friday, by the Nigerian government that talks to resolve the dispute have “reached an advanced stage.” 

A statement signed by MTN Chief Executive Officer, Karl Toriola, and addressed to the Chairman of Body of Banks’ CEOs, Herbert Wigwe on Saturday said:

“In an attempt to resolve the current USSD recharge impasse, given the intervention from our regulators, we hereby agree that the banks revert to the status quo of 4.5% commission.”

“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.”

How it started

The disagreement began after MTN reduced the percentage it remits to the banks for each amount of airtime from 4.5% to 2.5%. In response to this sudden development, the banks removed the telecom firm from their platforms on Friday, following a feud over the sharing of fees by both sides. All banks in Nigeria, except Zenith Bank, had taken MTN off their platform.

On Saturday, the telecommunications company, MTN Nigeria announced fintech alternative channels for its customers to buy airtime for their mobile devices after commercial banks disallowed MTN subscribers to use their channels.

This feud is happening just two weeks after, the government resolved an earlier USSD issue between Banks and telecoms resulting in Nigerians who use Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) having to pay a ₦6.98 fee per transaction. 

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MTN is the largest telecommunication operator in the country, with about 77 million subscribers, making up about 45% of the total telecommunication market share in Nigeria. This recent feud with Nigerian banks left millions of MTN subscribers stranded and frustrated as they are unable to recharge airtime through USSD and bank apps amid the Easter celebrations.

*Story updated with MTN’s decision to commercial banks’ commission to 4.5% dispute in first to third paragraph.

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