After disconnecting MTN customers from banking channels, including the Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD), last Friday, April 2, commercial banks have reconnected MTN subscribers to the banking platform.
It was gathered from the Nation that the new development came through due to intervention of Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele.
It will be recalled that commercial banks blocked MTN subscribers, believed to be around 77 million, accounting for about 45 per cent of the total telecommunication market share in Nigeria, with many of them stranded and unable to recharge airtime via USSD.
The disconnection was as a result of reduction of banks’ commission from 4.5 per cent to 2.5 per cent by the telco.
The banks had written MTN to revert to the old commission, threatening to block MTN subscribers from USSD transactions.
Reports have it that, MTN agreed that the banks revert to the status quo 4.5% commission while a meeting for the reduction of the charges will hold on Tuesday.
The letter dated Saturday, April 3, 2021 was signed by MTN Chief Executive Officer, Karl Toriola, and it was addressed to the Chairman of Body of Banks’ CEOs, Herbert Wigwe.
The letter by Toriola reads in part:
“In an attempt to resolve the current USSD recharge impasse, given the intervention from our regulators, we hereby agree that the banks revert to the status quo of 4.5% commission.
“However, the banks and MTN Communications Nigeria Plc shall sit to agree on various options that will result in the reduction in the costs on 6th of April, 2021”.
It should however be recalled that MTN yesterday, resorted to exploring alternative electronic payment platforms such as Flutterwave, Jumia Pay, OPay, Kuda, Carbon and BillsnPay for customers to recharge their phones.