The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has introduced new charges for customers using the Unstructured Supplementary Service Data services (USSD).
The apex bank said from Tuesday customers will pay a flat fee of N6.98 per transaction every time they use USSD services.
The charges were part of the agreements after banks and telecommunication operators met on Monday to discuss the N42 billion debt owed mobile operators by banks.
A statement on Tuesday and jointly signed by the apex bank’s Acting Director, Corporate Communications, Osita Nwanisobi; and Director, Public Affairs, Nigerian Communications Commission, Ikechukwu Adinde, explained: “We are pleased to announce that after comprehensive deliberations on the key issues, a resolution framework acceptable to all parties was agreed thus:
“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.
“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 Federal Government last week asked telecommunication operators to put on hold, their impending suspension of USSD services over N42bn debt owed by banks.