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MTN: Discussions ongoing to prevent future blockage on USSD channel

MTN: Discussions ongoing to prevent future blockage on USSD channel
April 08
17:03 2021

MTN Nigeria says discussions are ongoing to prevent a future blockage of its service on the unstructured supplementary service data (USSD) payment channels by banks.

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On April 2, MTN subscribers took to social media to lament difficulty recharging their lines through mobile banking applications and USSD channel.

Users were reconnected two days later after MTN announced a decision to revert discount offered to banks on airtime sales to 4.5 percent commission.

The mobile network operator (MNO) had reduced banks’ commission from an average of 3.5 percent to 2.5 percent, leading to a disagreement between MTN and commercial banks.

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In a statement on Thursday, MTN said the reconnection of its users was based on a reversal to its previous structure, until a new agreement is reached.

The network operator said it has been engaging in several meetings with stakeholders in reaching a pricing agreement that works for all parties.

“This was agreed on the basis that MTN would revert to its previous cost of sales structures with banking partners, until a new long-term agreement can be reached on a sustainable pricing structure going forward,” the statement reads.

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“Consequent on the intervention of the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, the Nigeria Communication Commission and the Central Bank of Nigeria, since April 6, 2021, MTN has been participating in a series of meetings to align on longer term pricing structures.

“We will provide a further market update once these discussions have been concluded. The streamlining MTN undertook is international standard and best practice as scale is built along distribution channels. We are confident that partners in the banking sector will work with us to ensure this process concludes as quickly as possible to the benefit of the entire industry.”

MTN thanked its subscribers for their patience during the disconnection on USSD channel.

It also appreciated the ministry of communications and digital economy and Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for their interventions.

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The network operator said a number of channels have been activated in partnerships with fintech companies to increase sales and distribution network.

MTN identified some of its partners to include Sparkle, Konga Pay, Barter By Flutter Wave, Jumia Pay, OPay, Kuda, Carbon, BillsnPay, MTN On Demand, MTN Xtratime, among others.

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