Commercial banks and mobile network providers in Nigeria have started charging customers a flat rate of N6.98 for every USSD transaction.
Many users of USSD services in Nigeria started to see a notice to pay N6.98 for each transaction session on Friday, June 4.
A notice received by a bank customer read, “Welcome to USSD Banking. Please note, a N6.98 network charge will be applied to your account for banking services on this channel.”
The decision to charge users was reached in March by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).
The decision was part of an agreement reached with deposit money banks following a disagreement between banks and telecom firms over USSD and other text message transaction requests.
“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,” a March statement signed by the CBN and NCC partly read.
The charge is expected to be withdrawn from users’ bank accounts and remitted to mobile network operators, who provide infrastructure for the service to operate.
This comes two months after Nigerian banks disconnected MTN customers from banking channels including the USSD and mobile banking apps.