By Prince Osuagwu
MTN Nigeria yesterday announced that it has begun the formation of a long term and sustainable pricing structure for its Unstructured Supplementary Service Data USSD transactions with bank channel partners.
Recall that MTN bank channel partners last week temporarily suspended sales of MTN products on their platforms on April 2, 2021, claiming that the telco unilaterally adjusted the price regime without due consultation.
The disruption caused MTN subscribers huge discomfort as they could not buy airtime on any bank channel throughout that day and the next.
However, services were restored on Sunday, April 4, 2021, with customers able to access all services. MTN said this was agreed on the basis that MTN would revert to its previous cost of sales structures with banking partners until a new long-term agreement can be reached on a sustainable pricing structure going forward.
In a statement made available to Vanguard by the Senior Manager, External Relations, Mr Funso Aina, MTN said: “consequent on the intervention of the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, the Nigeria Communication Commission and the Central Bank of Nigeria, since April 6, 2021, MTN has been participating in a series of meetings to align on longer-term pricing structures. We will provide a further market update once these discussions have been concluded.
The streamlining MTN undertook is an international standard and best practice as the scale is built along distribution channels. We are confident that partners in the banking sector will work with us to ensure this process concludes as quickly as possible to the benefit of the entire industry.
“MTN would like to thank our customers for their patience, and express our regret at the inconvenience imposed on them while banking channels were offline. In order to further expand the range of channels available to customers, MTN has activated a number of new channel partnerships with fintech partners, including Sparkle, Konga Pay, Barter By Flutter Wave, Jumia Pay, OPay, Kuda, Carbon, BillsnPay, MTN On-Demand, MTN Xtratime airtime loans, among others, and these will remain in place, significantly expanding the channels available to our customers and increasing our sales and distribution network” .
He commended the interventions of the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, the Nigeria Communication Commission and the Central Bank of Nigeria towards resolution of the dispute.