From Joseph Inokotong, Abuja
Nigerian financial service providers (banks) have agreed to pay by instalments N42 billion being accrued debt owed Nigerian mobile network operators for the use of Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) short code service.
The banks together with the mobile operators had ended an extended meeting last night with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), chaired by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ibrahim Pantami.
According to sources within the banking industry, resolutions agreed at the meeting include:
‘That End-User Billing be scrapped and be replaced with Corporate Billing for USSD.’
It was also agreed that ‘session charging be scrapped for transaction cost charging’.
They agreed on ‘N1.63 floor price and N4.50 price cap while a flat fee of N6.98 will be for the transaction.’
Banks will now charge customers for the USSD transaction on their accounts and settle the telecom operators.
The two parties also agreed to work together to deepen and expand digital financial inclusion of the federal government and come out with modalities and strategies on USSD.
The use of USSD by bank customers according to them is optional. Both the CBN and the NCC are expected to issue a joint statement on the expanded resolutions.
Participants at the meeting include the Deputy Governor, Financial Systems Stability Central Bank Of Nigeria, Aisha Ahmad, who represented CBN Governor Godwin Emfiele; Access Bank Group MD Herbert Wigwe, Chairman of the Committee of Bank CEOs; MTN Nigeria CEO Karl Toriola; Airtel Nigeria CEO Segun Ogunanya; 9mobile Executive Director Abdulrahman Ado; the EVC of NCC, Prof Umar Danbatta, and Executive Commission, Technical Services, NCC, Ubala Maska, among several banking and telecom stakeholders.