CBN calls for resolution in USSD transactions dispute

The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, has addressed the ongoing disagreement between telecoms firms and deposit money banks (DMBs) concerning non-payment for the provision of Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) transactions in a move aimed at safeguarding the interests of financial consumers

The dispute, which has been ongoing for more than three years, has had a significant impact on the ease of conducting online banking transactions. Last week, telecoms operators withdrew their services to banks, causing substantial difficulties for customers who depend on the USSD platform for their banking needs. Services affected include mobile fund transfers, account balance checks, and other related transactions.

Emefiele, speaking at a ceremony in Abuja, expressed his optimism that the dispute could be amicably resolved, particularly through the intervention of the Central Bank.

“If we do not resolve the problem, the people will suffer,” Emefiele stated, emphasising the potential impact of the standoff on the users of banking services.

The Central Bank has assured the public that it is actively working to resolve the situation. A spokesperson for the CBN, Dr. Isa Abdulmumin, explained that the apex bank was on top of the situation, attributing the dispute to technical issues surrounding the definition of a successful transaction from both a bank and telco perspective.

Emefiele’s comments come at a critical time, as Nigerians increasingly rely on digital platforms for their banking needs. The current standoff between the telecoms firms and DMBs, if not resolved quickly, could potentially disrupt this trend and negatively impact financial inclusion efforts.

The Central Bank of Nigeria continues to work towards achieving a resolution that is in the best interest of all parties involved, particularly the financial consumers who stand to be the most affected by this dispute.

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