MTN snubs Banks, links 77 Million Subscribers to Fintech Platforms

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MTN snubs Banks, links 77 Million Subscribers to Fintech Platforms
Chinedu Ibeakanma
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MTN customers in Nigeria now have alternative electronic payment platforms to recharge their phones as the mobile network operator on Saturday announced that customers can recharge airtime through payment solutions platforms such as Flutterwave, Jumia Pay, OPay, Kuda, Carbon and BillsnPay.

MTN in a statement on Saturday by its Senior Manager, External Relations, Funso Aina, also said customers could recharge airtime by dialing *904# and *606#

This is coming barely 24 hours after commercial banks on Friday disconnected MTN customers from banking channels including the Unstructured Supplementary Service Data and banking apps, leaving millions of MTN subscribers frustrated as they were unable to recharge airtime via USSD amid the Easter celebrations.

MTN, with about 77 million subscribers, making up about 45 per cent of the total telecommunication market share in Nigeria, is arguably the largest telecommunication operator in the country.

But in the statement on Saturday, MTN said, “It will interest you to note that for the benefit of our customers who have been greatly inconvenienced by the service suspension, we now have alternative channels of accessing MTN services electronically.”

Speaking with newsmen, a source in the industry said the most important factor is that MTN was able to quickly come up with alternatives through fintech companies.

“There are so many possibilities through fintech. It is about being responsive and flexible to alternatives for customers to enjoy MTN services as they have been enjoying before the disconnection by the banks. It is about being solution-focused,” the source said.

Asked whether MTN might have used the fintech platforms as alternatives before the disconnection, the source, who craved anonymity, said the development was totally new and spontaneous.

The source could not, however, give an update on the discussion the minister started with the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Nigerian Communications Commission to broker peace between the banks and MTN.

This post was written by Chinedu Ibeakanma.

The views expressed here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect our views and opinions.

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