Telecommunication companies on Tuesday said banks were the biggest beneficiaries of the USSD charges.
They also accused bank executives of making unfounded allegations against them regarding the plans to start charging customers N4 for 20 seconds of the unstructured supplementary service data fee.
The telcos, in a letter to the Body of Banks’ Chief Executive Officers on Tuesday, disagreed with the position of the banks that the charges would lead to 450 per cent rise in tariff.
The operators under the aegis of Association of Licensed Telecommunication Operators of Nigeria, noted that the banks were the biggest beneficiaries of the USSD charges.
The rate ranges from N10 to N50, as N4.5 per 20 seconds amounts to a minimum of 0.08 per cent and a maximum of 40 per cent of the charges to customers.
The letter signed by Gbenga Adebayo, the Chairman of ALTON, claimed that rather than using the USSD platform to bank the unbanked, the banks were serving the banked population, optimising their operations and generating huge revenue with the USSD channel.
The letter read in part, “The above underscores the fact that the biggest beneficiaries in the USSD value chain are the banks and that the allegation of destroying the financial inclusion strides by our members are unfounded.”
“It will be impossible to connect Automated Teller Machines and Point of Sale terminals across the length and breadth of Nigeria without our members’ dedication and support. In addition, the cashless policy drive and the instant payment solution of the financial sector would not have been possible without our members’ support.”