If you are unable to recharge your MTN line with USSD and banking apps, it’s because commercial banks in Nigeria have disconnected the telecoms network from the service.
Yesterday, several MTN customers took to Twitter to air their frustration at not being able to recharge from their phone. Many were angry they had to go back to the era of buying recharge card vouchers.
“Please note that MTN didn’t cut off customers and has no hand in this. This is strictly the banks acting on their own,” a source told Punch Nigeria. “We woke up this morning to see that MTN customers were cut off from USSD services overnight. This has come as a surprise as there was no formal communication from the banks to their customers prior to their taking this action.”
According to the source, MTN reduced banks commission from an average of 3.5 percent to 2.5 percent, this is most likely the reason commercial banks in Nigeria took this action. The source noted that only Zenith bank which had a direct connection to MTN and had its earnings fixed at 2.70 percent did not disconnect MTN.
“The banks wrote back to the aggregators to revert back to the old commission, otherwise, they would block MTN airtime in all their channels,” the source disclosed. The channels were blocked midnight leaving our customers stranded. Interesting that the bank Managing Directors met and quickly took a decision. Subscribers to telecommunications are being denied services by the banks even when they have money in their accounts.”
Banks on MOD that had a raise in commission from 2.0 per cent to 2.75 per cent have also blocked services. The banks with a direct connection to MTN through the MOD had a raise in their commission, according to the source. However, commercial banks are not willing to pay the cost of the USSD service and would rather cut off subscribers to maintain their own profits.