BEVERLY HILLS, April 04, (THEWILL) – Commercial banks have reconnected MTN customers after 48 hours of disconnection from the banking channels.
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.
THEWILL had reported that the banks blocked MTN customers on Friday, leaving millions of MTN subscribers stranded and unable to recharge airtime and make banking transactions via USSD.
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 transactions in all their channels.
The banks, except Zenith Bank which was connected directly to MTN, subsequently blocked the telco from all banking channels, leaving millions of customers stranded.
MTN had opted for fintech companies such as Flutterwave, Jumia Pay, OPay, Kuda, Carbon and BillsnPay for customers to recharge their phones.
However, in a letter on Saturday, MTN agreed that the banks should revert to the status quo 4.5 percent commission while a meeting for the reduction of the charges would hold on Tuesday.
The letter dated 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.
Toriola in the letter said, “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.”
The banks subsequently unblocked MTN customers on their banking channels, thus enabling them to recharge virtually via USSD and other channels linked to their accounts.