MTN Nigeria in talks with banks over pricing restructure

MTN Nigeria in talks with banks over pricing restructure

MTN Nigeria is engaging with local banks to discuss pricing models after it was blocked from selling products and airtime last week after it attempted to reduce commission on transactions.

The operator’s action resulted in most of Nigeria’s banks blocking sales of its products, and services were only restored after the government intervened, with MTN promising to reinstate the previously agreed rate of commission until a new agreement is negotiated.

MTN Nigeria issued a statement saying it opened consultations with banks on 6th April in a bid to “align on longer term pricing structures” that adhered to “international standard and best practice”, and expressed optimism about reaching a swift agreement with the banks.

The operator added that it was scaling up its sales and distribution network via new partnerships with fintech companies including JumiaPay, KongaPay and Sparkle.

MTN Nigeria’s commission dispute may be part of a wider conflict first reported by Bloomberg in March, in which several members of the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria threatened to block banks from accessing their payment services.

The operators alleged that the banks owed them NGN42 billion ($110.3 million) from end-user billing, prompting Nigeria’s regulatory authorities to set a fixed commission rate and demand liability resolution.