Banks, Telcos Exclude Airtime, Data From N6.98 USSD Charges

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    Banks and telecommunication companies have excluded airtime and data purchases from the newly introduced N6.98 Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) charges that commenced on Friday.

    “Welcome to USSD Banking,” one by Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (GTBank) a notice to the customers on Friday said.

    “Please note, a N6.98 network charge will be applied to your account for banking services on this channel,” the statement added.

    The likes of GTBank, FCMB and Zenith Bank plc in a statement on Saturday expressed to customers that airtime and data purchases are excluded from the N6.98 USSD charges.

    GTBank in a statement to customers on Saturday said: “Please be informed that you are now required to pay a fee of N6.98 to your mobile network provider for every banking transaction carried out on all USSD banking platforms.

    “This means that when you send money to anyone using USSD, a fee of N6.98 will be charged to your bank account, which is in turn remitted in full by your Bank, to your mobile network provider.

    “Please note that Airtime and Data purchases via USSD are exempt from this charge on USSD platforms.

    “As our customer, we are making sure you have as many options as possible for all your financial transactions. You can send money to anyone and pay bills anytime using our GTWorld Mobile App, at no extra charge.”

    FCMB also in a notice to its customers on Saturday said, “Please be informed that you are now required to pay a fee of N6.98 to your mobile network provider for every banking transaction carried out on all USSD banking platforms.

    “This means that when you access any banking service using USSD, a fee of N6.98 will be charged to your bank account, which is in turn remitted in full by your Bank, to your mobile network provider.

    “Please note that Airtime and Data purchases via USSD are exempt from this charge.

    “To avoid this extra charge, we encourage you to transfer money or pay bills using any of our convenient electronic banking channels such as FCMB New Mobile App , FCMBOnline (internet banking), Cards and ATMs,” the bank said.

    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 deposit money 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,” a March statement signed by the CBN and NCC partly read.

    The charge is expected to be withdrawn from users’ bank accounts and remitted to mobile network operators, who provide infrastructure for the service to operate.

     

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