Many Nigerians on Friday took to Twitter to react and vent as they started getting charged N6.98 for each USSD transaction they do.
Naija News reports Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) allows users without a smartphone or data/internet connection to use mobile banking through the use of a code.
USSD-based mobile banking can be used for fund transfers, checking account balance, generating bank statement, among other uses.
However, many users of the service are now lamenting the N6.98 charge they started noticing for each transaction on Friday.
“Welcome to USSD Banking.” “Please note, a N6.98 network charge will be applied to your account for banking services on this channel,” one notice said.
It will be recalled that back in March 2021, a joint statement released by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) said the Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) and Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) agreed to the new charge of N6.98 as a flat rate customers have to pay for each transaction on the Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) service.
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.
The statement reads in part: “This replaces the current per session billing structure, ensuring a much cheaper average cost for customers to enhance financial inclusion. This approach is transparent and will ensure the amount remains the same, regardless of the number of sessions per transaction.
“To promote transparency in its administration, the new USSD charges will be collected on behalf of MNOs directly from customers bank accounts. Banks shall not impose additional charges on customers for use of the USSD channel.
“A settlement plan for outstanding payments incurred for USSD services, previously rendered by the MNOs, is being worked out by all parties in a bid to ensure that the matter is fully resolved.”
But there are fresh concerns about the hardship such charges will have on Nigerians.
See some reactions from Twitter.
Imagine!! pls why i no go renounce this artificial territory they call Nigeria
— Slow burn (@slow_burnXII) June 4, 2021
Eehhh orisirisi. Gtbank is now charging #6.98 for using USSD Banking. They say it’s network charge. 😂
Maybe they should hold their USSD banking o. I have bank app and I have data.
— Moments with Tomisin (@Tomisin_oj) June 4, 2021
USSD is now N6.98 per transaction whether it’s successful or not.
— Ayemojubar (@ayemojubar) June 4, 2021
So are we gonna keep quiet about the 7 naira charged by banks for using the USSD code?
— Bobbyy. (@floydmontana0) June 4, 2021
So USSD service provider for banking is now N6.98.
Maybe it’s because Nigeria is no more Nigeria we are now in United African Republic pic.twitter.com/EYTnv8PV3q
— Mayowa olagunju ❁ (@iam_doctormayor) June 4, 2021
This new USSD charges is a new way of defrauding us in this country. Who cursed us in this country 😭
— obikoya Adebowale (@obikoyaemmanue1) June 4, 2021
My country people, see mtn this early morning
I did ussd transfers yesterday, no network charges
This country be doing the most to frustrate me pic.twitter.com/RuSXUOCtZ6
— Christiana A. Showunmi (@kristayomy) June 4, 2021
Why is GTBank charging for USSD transaction?
Is this not even fraud? But you don’t pay to top up via the mobile banking platform.
— Uncle Charles (@AkwariCharles) June 4, 2021
Are you upset about the charge of N6.98 for USSD banking? Don’t worry.
Endure it for now, once we move into our new country, UAR, it won’t happen again.
— Major Gen. Oluchi of UAR 📊🪙 🐐 (@General_Oluchi) June 4, 2021
The funny thing about this ussd thing is Nigerians will complain small and adjust and it’ll be the new normal, wonder when people will take action against these mounting taxes,dollar rates skyrocketing, electricity taxes ridiculous, food items insane! And now ussd charges too??
— mimosa (@_greygirl) June 4, 2021
Finally, USSD is no longer free to use pic.twitter.com/VfleQpWgvm
— Your Gist Partner (@GistPaddy) June 3, 2021
I use my ussd code more than 3 times a day 😭😭😭
That’s 18 Naira
18×7 ie in a week = 126 Naira
Ie 504 Naira in a month.
6,048 Naira in a year
Multiply this by other 10k people who use Usd code ahhhhhhhh
Nigeria is after our Life😩😩😩😩😩 pic.twitter.com/0XgQWmEuGz
— LISA MBARGA 🦋 (@Lisambarga) June 3, 2021
7Naira charge for using USSD code? Omo na gun remain for this people o 😏
— Samuel Mbah (@Mbahdeyforyou) June 4, 2021