Customers who use unstructured supplementary service data (USSD) channels to access banking services would have to pay new charges from October 21.
Some telecommunications network service providers have sent notices to their customers of the new charge.
“Please note that from Oct 21, we will charge N4 per 20 seconds for USSD access to banking services. Thank you,” a notification sent by MTN to customers read.
Banking services were introduced on USSD channels to ensure easier access to banking services.
Before now, telcos charged customers per USSD session.
This charge differed across networks with the highest being N20 per session.
However, this new charge would mean that customers will be charged N12 for every minute spent on the USSD channel.
Already, the development has elicited reactions from customers and they have taken to social media to express how they feel on social media.
Some customers went as far as sending messages to their banks for further information on the charges.
Some banks have responded saying their charges remain unchanged.
“Our fees and charges on the USSD service remain unchanged and all our services are available,” Access Bank’s Twitter account replied a customer.
Here are some of the reactions from Twitter.
@MTNNG @MTN180 yesterday I asked why you sent me a message about new charges on banks USSD usages, you insisted it was at the instance of banks, well one of my banks @FirstBankngr have DMed to say they didn't ask you to do such.
Can you show some proof?@DrIsaPantami @henryshield pic.twitter.com/s4REJa0U2Z
— Donan Joshua Amillah (@DonanAmillah) October 20, 2019
1. VAT on an increase.
2. Toll gate is coming back.
3. Charges on cash deposit & withdrawal has been implemented.
5. N50 stamp duty on PoS transaction over 1k.
6. Payment for the renewal of National ID card.
7. USSD charge for banking services.
Sighs, it is well. 🚶♂️ pic.twitter.com/7JZxbQ2Qhg
— Alex Oluwatobi (@alexlobaloba) October 20, 2019
About that USSD thing, I noticed that @ZenithBank has been deducting N15 Everytime I use their USSD code to check my account balance… Just checking my account balance ooo!
Well, if I can't beat them, I may as well own a bank one day. It's a good business venture. 🏦🤔
— Dr Emmanuel (@DoctorEmto) October 20, 2019
If you know how payment services work, you'll understand that USSD service use can never be free. The banks have been the ones paying the Telcos for the service, but now they've decided to shift the payment to the consumers. Well, I can't relate cos I don't use USSD.
— Wale Adetona (@iSlimfit) October 20, 2019
It's simple! Use other channels of payment. Although there would be convenience fee that'll apply there too. Choose the one that is most convenient and cheaper for you.
— Wale Adetona (@iSlimfit) October 20, 2019
If you got this message from MTN, relax. USSD charge is not new in Nigeria, it wasn't introduced by MTN, other networks have been charging in line with the NCC USSD Price determination guidelines. Convenience comes at a cost. pic.twitter.com/5bb98pPqLL
— Baba Folarin (@That_IjebuBadoo) October 19, 2019
I thought cashless policy was a means of encouraging us to indulge us in USSD transactions and the use of mobile banking apps?@MTNNG was the only network provider, (that I’m aware of), that didn’t charge for USSD transactions.
Now the banks are pushing them to charge users?
— Ifiok Menadio. (@menadio007) October 20, 2019
Wait, are you guys just getting to know about network provider's USSD code use direct charge?
I have been getting such charges for using Stanbic IBTC bank USSD code for years, which was my only disappointment with the bank.
To avoid the charge, use your mobile app.
— Ogbuefi Okafor🇳🇬 (@MistaChika) October 20, 2019
There will be telecommunication tax on ussd access to banking services. Start using your mobile Banking app
— O N Y I N Y E C H I ❤ (@rosemary_enemuo) October 20, 2019
Please @ZenithBank why would you request @MTNNG to charge me directly for USSD services… Why would you @MTNNG take order from @ZenithBank on my guide. Did I introduce the two both of you together🤔…… Both of you ain't permitted to #MoneyHeist my account….. Be Guided!!!!💅 pic.twitter.com/KjV16LaJzu
— Entheous.vheeky (@EVheeky) October 20, 2019
So @MTNNG and @gtbank has join hand together to ruin peoples income. Imagine somebody lik me dat use dis USSD almost everyday. I still dont understand wat this is all abt. Contact your bank dat was d impression. Now @gtbank_help can u see 2 dis pic.twitter.com/XO1tH6om8m
— Iyalòde Sultanate of 🇴🇲🇳🇬 (@Oluwarolly1) October 20, 2019
This isn't new tho.. 9mobile been charging 20naira for every USSD service even if it fails since way back.. I even thought it was normal for all network providers sef https://t.co/t5JYj4F82t
— Berlin (@ObaloJay) October 20, 2019