MTN Nigeria considers pricing change after row with banks

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MTN LOGO

MTN Nigeria has started consulting with domestic banks to secure a long-term agreement on a sustainable pricing structure for selling products.

The move is part of measures to avoid further disruption after a row over commissions halted airtime sales last week.

In a statement, MTN explained it had been involved in a series of discussions since 6 April exploring ways to “align on longer term pricing structures” by undertaking an approach of “international standard and best practice as scale is built along distribution channels”.

The Nigerian operator expressed belief banking partners will cooperate to ensure a consensus will be reached as soon as possible.

MTN Nigeria also said it formed new channel partnerships with fintech players including Sparkle, KongaPay and JumiaPay, among others, to expand the portfolio of available payments channels.

It said the move would also boost its sales and distribution network.

The operator’s product sales, including airtime, were temporarily suspended by most Nigerian banks after it tried to reduce the commission due for each transaction.

Following government intervention, services were restored under the condition of reverting to a previously agreed cost of sales structures with banks until a new settlement is reached.

MTN Nigeria’s spat with banks is tipped to be part of a larger dispute, which Bloomberg reported involved members of the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria.

They reportedly claimed banks owe them NGN42 billion ($110.3 million) from end-user billing and threatened to cut their access to payment services in March.

The country’s authorities then set a fixed amount for commission and called for liability resolution, Bloomberg stated.

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