Commercial banks have disconnected MTN customers from banking channels including the Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) and banking apps.
MTN customers complained on Friday about being unable to recharge their MTN lines using USSD and other banking channels like the bank apps.
Customers were also unable to do banking transactions on MTN lines through USSD.
MTN also sent messages to its subscribers informing them to recharge using physical cards,
The message reads: Dear customer, our bank recharge channels are currently unavailable, Kindly recharge using physical cards. We apologise for the inconvenience, Thank you.”
It was learnt that the telecom was disconnected without warning.
A source said this was not the doing of MTN but the banks who had refused to give any formal communication prior to the disconnection.
The source said, “Please note that MTN didn’t cut off customers and has no hand in this. This is strictly the banks acting on their own.
“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.”
“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.”
The source noted that Zenith bank, which was connected directly to MTN and had their earnings at 2.70 per cent, was the only bank that had not blocked the telco
However, banks on MOD that had an uplift in their commission from 2.0 per cent to 2.75 per cent have blocked services, according to him. Banks with direct connection to the telco through MOD got a commission uplift.
According to the source, the banks were unwilling to pay the cost of the USSD channel and were okay with cutting off subscribers in order to protect their profits.
The source added, “This only has to do with preservation of bank profits, which are already substantial and growing despite the wider economic conditions
The government needs to step in and deal with this once and for all. Nigerian banks need to stop their tyrannical posture.”