Banks disagree with MTN on USSD commission disconnect customers

Banks disagree with MTN on USSD commission disconnect customers

There has been an on-going vendetta between the Nigerian banks and the Nation’s giant telco MTN on commission ratio on bank channels like the USSD and banking apps.

It was observed on Friday that MTN customers were unable to recharge their MTN lines as usual via the Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) and the apps.

Transactions on MTN lines were repeatedly declined.

However a source revealed that MTN is not to blame for this disconnection however the banks took the decision by disconnecting their customers from the service without formal notice.

Tip off

According to a source and I quote “Please note that MTN didn’t cut off customers and has no hand in this, it’s strictly the banks acting on their own.”

He continued “We woke up this morning to see that MTN customers were cut off from USSD services overnight. This has come to us as a surprise as there was no formal communication from the banks to their customers prior to their taking this decision.”

It was disclosed that MTN had reduced the bank’s commission from an average of 3.5% to 2.5%, this undoubtedly informed the action of the banks.

How it fares

The banks stayed true to their threats by blocking their MTN users midnight Friday leaving their customers stranded.

According to the source, only Zenith bank remains active, reason being that it was connected directly to MTN and had their earnings at 2.7%.

To this end, banks on MOD that had a slight increase in their commission from 2.0% to 2.75% have blocked services at present.

The banks were Okay with cutting off the subscribers since they were unwilling to pay the cost of the USSD channel.

The source added that “This only has to do with preservation of banks profit, which are apparently substantial and growing despite the wider economic stress.


There seems to be more to this than just meets the eye, the banks should have at least consider their numerous customers who have been affected by this single decision.

It will take a huge toll on everyone considering the fact that you’ll hardly see a customer who do not use the USSD channel for either airtime purchase or data subscription.

Hope to see the both parties reach a compromise soonest.

What’s your take on this? Let’s hear you out please.

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