Banks to charge for USSD transaction.

The Central Bank of Nigeria had issued a strict compliance to the directive given to banks on USSD transaction.

The Central Bank of Nigeria and the Nigerian Communication Commission came to an agreement that a flat fee of #6.98 should be charged for any USSD transaction.

The directive was as a result of the meeting held with effect from Tuesday, March 16, 2021.

The meeting was summoned by telecommunications in Nigeria over the debts of #42billion owed by Nigeria banks for USSD transactions.

CBN, Gbenga Adebayo in his statement said that the charges become necessary after banks and telecommunications failed to reach an agreement which will not involve users.

During the weekend, commercial banks have started issuing a notice to their customers via email and their social media platforms.

The content of the mail is to reinstate the directive of the Central Bank.

On the other hand, this charge is not applicable to transactions carried out on mobile apps.

It is only limited to USSD transactions with few exemptions.

According to United Bank for Africa (UBA), the new charges is not applicable to airtime purchase and data subscription.

Aside that, any other transaction including, balance enquiry attracts #6.98 per session.

If you are the type that checks your balance on a regular basis using USSD, be prepared to pay an additional fee.

What is USSD?

Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD), similar to Short Message Service (SMS), is a global system for mobile communication protocol which uses codes made of characters that are available on the phone.

USSD refer to codes that starts with * and ends with #.

The use of USSD is not limited to banks, it is used by network providers to check account balances and data balance.

In this context, the network providers are not the only one involved, the charges is applicable to only banking services.

As from now, all transaction using your bank codes will attract a service charge of #6.98

Implication of the new directive

Prior to March 16, there is no charges and the general public had been using USSD codes for banking transactions.

Financial experts are of the opinion that this directive will reduce the use of USSD codes.

Aside from that, the directive is not generally inclusive and those that did not have access to internet facilities will be affected.

Mobile apps are an alternative but it is only limited to smartphone users.

If you are reading this, well, thank God you have access to internet facilities but do you know any other directives that might be aimed at extorting you?

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