Update: MTN bars subscribers from recharging via USSD, allegedly reviews banks’ discount on service.



MTN Nigeria has blocked its subscribers from recharging their mobile phones or buying data using the Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) codes.

This happened after the telecoms giant allegedly cut back on the commissions it pays out to banks and fintechs on the sales of airtime and data.

What it means.


This means that subscribers cannot recharge their lines or buy data plans using the USSD codes particular to their banks.

Several banks have sent notifications to the customers after they made efforts to recharge via USSD code, My MTNapp, and FinTech firms like FETS.

READ: MTN CEO Designate, Karl Toriola acquires shares worth over N41 million

The financial institutions’ response reads

Dear Customer, this service is temporarily unavailable. Kindly contact your Telecom service provider.”

MTN Nigeria also confirmed the development in a mail sent to some of its partners, which in part reads:

“Dear Customer, Please be informed that some of Mycustomers may not be able to purchase airtime, and data recharge via banks including MOD, and myMTNApp.

Please pacify Mycustomers and educate them to use MTNTopit, MoMo channels, as well as the debit card options on MOD or myMTN

What you should know

Three weeks ago, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) announced the introduction of new charges for customers using the USSD services, according to Nairametrics.

The two regulatory agencies said that customers will pay a flat fee of N6.98 per transaction every time they use USSD services with effect from Tuesday, March 16, 2021.

This is the outcome of the meeting between the CBN, NCC, deposit money banks and mobile network operators (MNOs) over a protracted dispute concerning appropriate pricing for the USSD services which has resulted in accumulated debt and a possible withdrawal of USSD services by MNOs.

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