Many users of USSD services in Nigeria on Friday started to see a notice to pay N6.98 for each transaction session. USSD is a critical channel for delivering financial services, especially for those who do not have access to physical banking infrastructure or internet services.
“Welcome to USSD Banking,” one notice said. “Please note, a N6.98 network charge will be applied to your account for banking services on this channel.” The decision to charge users was reached in March by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).
The decision was part of an agreement reached with banks following a disagreement between banks and telecom firms over USSD and other text message transaction requests.
“Effective March 16, 2021, USSD services for financial transactions conducted at DMBs (Deposit Money Banks) and all CBN-licensed institutions will be charged at a flat fee of N6.98 per transaction,” the March statement partly read.