A heated dispute has erupted between telecommunications companies and banks regarding the charging of customers for unsuccessful transactions via USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data) sessions. Telecommunications companies are now threatening to disconnect several banks from the USSD service, citing the banks’ failure to charge customers session fees for both successful and unsuccessful transactions. This conflict arises from a fundamental disagreement over who should bear the costs of poor network connectivity and unsuccessful transactions.

Unsuccessful transactions, which refer to transactions that are not completed and terminated due to various reasons, are often caused by inadequate network connectivity provided by telecommunications companies. The telecommunications companies argue that they incur costs for each USSD session, regardless of its outcome. They contend that charging customers for both successful and unsuccessful transactions is essential to maintain the quality of the network infrastructure and provide uninterrupted services.

However, banks maintain that customers should not be penalized for unsuccessful transactions resulting from factors beyond their control, such as poor network connectivity. They argue that customers should only be charged session fees for successful transactions, as they should not bear the burden of network-related issues. Banks emphasize the importance of customer satisfaction and maintaining trust in the banking system.

The escalating conflict has led the major telecommunications companies to issue ultimatums, warning non-compliant banks of potential disconnection from the USSD service. This move raises concerns among financial and regulatory authorities about the potential disruption to essential banking services and the overall stability of the financial system.

If telecommunications companies carry out their threats, customers of affected banks may experience difficulties in accessing USSD-based services for activities such as mobile banking, balance inquiries, and fund transfers. Disconnection from the USSD service could significantly hamper customer convenience and access to financial services, potentially leading to frustration and inconvenience.

Industry experts and regulatory bodies are actively engaged in mediating negotiations between the telecommunications companies and banks to find a viable resolution that addresses the concerns of both parties. The goal is to strike a balance between ensuring fair compensation for telecommunications companies’ network services and protecting customers from unnecessary charges for unsuccessful transactions.

While negotiations continue, customers are advised to stay informed about the developments surrounding this conflict. They should be prepared for potential disruptions to USSD-based banking services and explore alternative channels to access financial services if their banks are disconnected from the USSD service.

The resolution of this dispute holds significant implications for the future relationship between telecommunications companies and banks, as well as the seamless provision of financial services to customers. Achieving a fair and balanced outcome that addresses the issue of network connectivity and charges for unsuccessful transactions is essential.

In the coming weeks, regulatory bodies will play a crucial role in facilitating negotiations and finding a mutually acceptable solution. The aim is to ensure that customers are not unduly burdened, while safeguarding the stability and efficiency of the financial system.

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