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CBN imposes N7 USSD transaction fee on Nigerians



The Central Bank of Nigeria has set new charges payable by customers using USSD services for their financial transactions.


The apex bank said the transaction fees are effective Tuesday, setting a flat rate of N6.98 per transaction.


This was contained in a statement released on Tuesday and signed by the apex bank’s Acting Director, Corporate Communications, Osita Nwanisobi; and Director, Public Affairs, Nigerian Communications Commission, Ikechukwu Adinde.


The announcement was released 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 document reads;


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.


The new rates come after the meeting held by the banking sector and telecommunications under ALTON on Monday to discuss and resolve the N42 billion debt owed mobile operators by banks.


The federal government had last week asked telecommunication operators to suspend their threatened withdrawal of USSD services over a N42bn debt owed by banks, a move that stood to affect estimated 40 million consumers, who rely on the short codes as opposed to internet services.


The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, had convened a meeting with financial institutions and mobile network operators on Monday.

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