USSD: Nigerians suffer as banks engage MTN in power show


Millions of Nigerians were left stranded on Friday on discovering they could not perform banking transactions through their MTN lines.

It was gathered that commercial banks disconnected MTN customers from banking channels including the unstructured supplementary service data (USSD) and banking apps.

MTN customers could not buy airtime on their MTN lines using USSD and other banking channels like the bank apps.

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

The incident is believed to be connected to the N42bn debt owed mobile operators by banks.

A source in MTN told PUNCH that 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.

The source said, “This only has to do with preservation of bank profits, which are already substantial and growing despite the wider economic conditions.”

Following a warning to revert to the old commission, the banks, except Zenith Bank which was connected directly to MTN, subsequently blocked MTN from their banking channels.

Intervening in the matter, minister of communications and digital economy, Isa Pantami tweeted late Friday: “On the fallout between @MTNNG and some banks on USSD services today, I engaged with both regulators, the Governor of @cenbank and EVC @NgComCommission.

“We have reached an advance stage of resolving the issues, for the services to be restored to our citizens. Many thanks!”

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