CBN introduces N6.98 per USSD transaction effective March 16
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) have agreed to introduce a new pricing system of N6.98 per Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) transaction to bank customers from Tuesday 16th of March 2021.
This agreement was reached after comprehensive deliberations to resolve the disagreements between Mobile Network Operators (MNO)s, and Deposit Money Banks (DMB)s concerning the appropriate USSD pricing model for financial transactions which resulted in the accumulation of N42 billion debt by some banks.
According to a statement jointly signed by the Acting Director, Corporate Communications, CBN, Osita Nwanisobi; and Director, Public Affairs, NCC Ikechukwu Adinde in a statement titled ‘Joint Statement By Central Bank Of Nigeria and Nigerian Communications Commission On Pricing Of Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) Services’ the new pricing will replace the current per session billings structure to sure a much cheaper average cost for customers to enhance financial inclusion.
The statement reads, “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 statement disclosed that a settlement plan for outstanding payments incurred for USSD services, previously rendered by the MNOs is being worked out by all parties in a bid to ensure that the matter is fully restored”
MNOs and DMBs shall discuss and agree on the operational modalities for the implementation of the new USSD pricing framework including sharing of Application Programme Interface (API) to enable seamless, direct and transparent customer billing.”
DMBs and MNOs are committed to engaging further on strategies to lower cost and enhance access to financial services.”