Telecom firms blame bank CEOs over USSD charges

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 the Chairman of ALTON, Gbenga Adebayo, 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.