CBN introduces N6.98 as new charges for USSD services

The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has just released a new charge rate for customers using Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) services.

CBN confirms that beginning from Tuesday, customers will begin paying a flat fee of N6.98 for every transaction every time they make use of USSD services.

The apex bank said the new charge rate was part of the agreement reach during the meeting of banks with telecommunication operators to discuss the N42bn debt banks are owing mobile operators.

This was contained in a statement released 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.

The new USSD transaction rate charge was made known in a released statement jointly signed by the CBN acting director, Corporate Communications, Osita Nwanisobi, and Director, Public Affairs, Nigerian Communications Commission, Ikechukwu Adinde.

Thus, the title of the statement states ‘Joint Statement By Central Bank Of Nigeria and Nigerian Communications Commission On Pricing Of Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) Services’.

It reads in part; “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.

“With the above resolutions, the impending suspension of DMBs from the USSD channel is hereby vacated. Therefore, DMBs shall no longer be disconnected from the USSD channel.

“The general public is reminded that the USSD channel is optional, as several alternative channels such as mobile apps, internet banking and ATMs may be used for financial transactions.

“The CBN and NCC shall continue to engage relevant operators and all stakeholders to promote cheaper, seamless access to mobile and financial services for all Nigerians,” the statement concluded.

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