Disconnection: MTN Explores Alternative Payment Platforms

MTN Nigeria Limited supplier

Against the backdrop of the decision by the banks to disconnect on MTN Nigeria’s customers from accessing the Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) code last Thursday, MTN has decided to explore new digital payment platforms outside of the general USSD code for its over 77 million subscribers, for fear of future disconnection by commercial banks.

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The banks stated that the telco reduced the discount offered to them on airtime sales from 4.5 per cent to 2.5 per cent, which did not go down well with them considering the cost of managing the infrastructure and other operational costs they incurred. Hence, the decision to disconnect MTN.

The disconnection had lasted for only four days before the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami and the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) intervened and told the parties involved to maintain status quo while negotiation on how to resolve the matter continues.

According to our findings, some of the alternative payment platforms, which MTN is currently exploring, are Billsnpay app, owned and operated by CWG; Barter by Flutter Wave app; Jumia Pay app; OPay app; Carbon app; Kuda app; myMTN web; and Momo agent, operated by MTN Nigeria.

According to a statement signed by the Head of Brand and Marketing, CWG, Seun Koshoedo, the disconnection of the Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) by selected banks in Nigeria against MTN Nigeria subscribers, the telecoms company has decided to open up alternative Fintech platforms, where its subscribers can easily recharge their phones. One of such platforms is the CWG’s bill presentment platform tagged Billsnpay, which hitherto gives Nigerians the ease to recharge their phone or even buy data. The platform can also be used for estate levies, school fees, contributions, donations, faith-based payments, and fundraising initiatives.

“We are offering a two per cent discount on our Billsnpay platform for Nigerians to purchase airtime with ease, in a flash, and from any service provider of your choice. Buying from the platform will allow you to spend less and save more,” Koshoedo said.

The Senior Manager, External Relations at MTN Nigeria, Funso Aina said, “We now have alternative channels such as BillsnPay, Flutterwave, Jumia Pay, OPay, Kuda and Carbon for accessing MTN services electronically,”