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MTN Nigeria seeks cooperations of banking partners to work out long-term deal on USSD code

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MTN Nigeria has expressed optimism that its banking sector partners will work with it to ensure the full resolution of all outstanding disputes over the use of USSD code.

In a statement, the local unit of South Africa’s telecom giant said it has resolved to revert to its previous cost of sales structures with banking partners on the intervention of industry regulators.

This, it said was hinged on the fact that both partners will work out a long-term agreement on a sustainable pricing structure going forward.

“We are confident that partners in the banking sector will work with us to ensure this process concludes as quickly as possible to the benefit of the entire industry,” the telecom firm said in a statement.

The face-off between the telecoms firm and some banks started last Friday when the telecom firm slashed the commission pay to banks on the use of USSD code by customers to recharge airtime to 2.5 percent from 3.5 percent previously.

This culminated in some banks disconnecting the USSD code for some customers to recharge their phone through their bank accounts.

Millions of MTN subscribers who could not making use of banking channels to recharge airtime, using the USSD code were left frustrated.

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In a bid to resolve the issue and ensure that its customers are not left stranded, MTN Nigeria advised its customers explore other channels to recharge their phones through payment solutions platforms such as Flutterwave, Jumia Pay, OPay, Kuda, Carbon and BillsnPay.

The telecoms firm’s customers were also advised to recharge airtime by dialing *904# and *606#.

However, both the minister of communications and digital economy, Isa Patami and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) stepped in to resolve the issue.

Last night, the MTN said it has reverted back to the old commission pending the agreement on a long-term solution to the pricing strategy.

“Following the temporary suspension of sales of MTN products through our banking channel partners on April 2, 2021, services were restored on Sunday, April 4, 2021, with customers able to access all services.

“This was agreed on the basis that MTN would revert to its previous cost of sales structures with banking partners until a new long-term agreement can be reached on a sustainable pricing structure going forward.

“Consequent on the intervention of the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, the Nigeria Communication Commission and the Central Bank of Nigeria, since April 6, 2021, MTN has been participating in a series of meetings to align on longer-term pricing structures.

“We will provide a further market update once these discussions have been concluded.

“The streamlining MTN undertook is an international standard and best practice as the scale is built along distribution channels,” MTN said in the statement.

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