USSD War: Banks Unblock MTN, Reconnect Telco To Banking Channels
After 48 hours of disconnecting MTN customers from banking channels including the Unstructured Supplementary Service Data and banking apps, commercial banks on Sunday have reconnected MTN customers to banking channels, The PUNCH can confirm.
The Punch correspondent gathered that the development followed the intervention of the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami; and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele.
The banks blocked MTN customers on Friday, leaving millions of MTN subscribers frustrated as they were unable to recharge airtime via USSD amid the Easter celebrations.
MTN, with about 77 million subscribers, making up about 45 per cent of the total telecommunication market share in Nigeria, is arguably the largest telecommunication operator in the country.
The blockade occurred when the telco reduced the banks’ commission from an average of 3.5 per cent to 2.5 per cent. The banks had written MTN to revert to the old commission, otherwise, they would block MTN airtime in all their channels.
The banks, except Zenith Bank which was connected directly to MTN, subsequently blocked MTN from their banking channels, leaving millions of customers stranded as they were unable to recharge virtually.
This online platform earlier reported that MTN had snubbed the banks and opted for fintech companies such as Flutterwave, Jumia Pay, OPay, Kuda, Carbon and BillsnPay for customers to recharge their phones.