USSD users will suffer consequences of bank, telco dispute

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The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, has urged telecoms firms and deposit money banks (DMBs) to consider the interest of financial consumers in their dispute over non-payment for the provision of the Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) transactions.

Emefiele made the statement on Monday after launching SabiMONI e-Learning Platform, a financial literacy digital platform for e-learning.

For over three years, telecoms firms have tackled deposit money banks for not paying for the usage of the USSD platform, which enables bank customers to use shortcodes to transfer funds and check account balances, amongst other financial transactions without an internet connection.

The USSD debt, which has accumulated to N120 billion, has once resulted in network providers blocking some bank customers from accessing the USSD services before the intervention of the CBN and the regulator of the telco industry, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

READ ALSO:Nigerian Breweries blames Emefiele’s CBN policy for N10.71bn loss

Recently, another disagreement ensued between the banks and telcos, leading to the intervention of the CBN to avoid a recurrence of customers not having access to the USSD services.

Speaking about the dispute, Emefiele said the central bank would ensure the disagreement is resolved amicably. “If we do not resolve the problem, the people will suffer. Like we say, when two elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers.

“Those that will suffer when these disagreements linger would be the users of banking services,” the CBN boss said.

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