USSD: Banks disconnect MTN from banking channels

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Commercial banks have disconnected MTN from banking channels including the Unstructured Supplementary Service Data and banking apps.

MTN complained Friday about being unable to recharge their MTN lines using USSD and banking channels like the apps.

were also unable to do banking transactions MTN lines through USSD.

According to a source MTN, this was not the doing of the telco but the banks had refused to give any formal communication prior to the disconnection.

He said, “Please note MTN didn’t cut off customers and has no hand this. This is strictly the banks acting their own.

“We woke up this morning to see MTN customers were cut off from USSD services overnight. This has come as a surprise as there was no formal communication from the banks to their customers prior to their taking this action.

The source disclosed MTN had reduced the banks’ commission from an average of 3.5 per cent to 2.5 per cent which predicated the actions of the banks.

According to the source, the reduction is because the volumes compensate for the reduction, adding that the convenience channel partners and aggregators through which they were indirectly connected to the banks allowed this.

The source said, “The banks wrote back to the aggregators to revert back to the old commission, otherwise, they would block MTN airtime all their channels.

“The channels were blocked midnight leaving our customers stranded. Interesting that the Managing Directors met and quickly took a decision. Subscribers to telecommunications are being denied services by the banks even when they have money in their accounts.”

He noted that Zenith , which was connected directly to MTN and had their earnings at 2.70 per cent, was the only that had not blocked the telco.

However, banks on MOD that had an uplift in their commission from 2.0 per cent to 2.75 per cent have blocked services, according to him. Banks direct connection to the telco through MOD got a commission uplift.

According to the source, the banks were unwilling to the cost of the USSD channel and were okay cutting off subscribers in order to protect their profits.

He added, “This only has to do with preservation of bank profits, which are already substantial and growing despite the wider economic conditions

“The government needs to step in and deal with this once and for all. Nigerian banks need to stop their tyrannical posture.”