May 18, 2023.Thank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe!
The CEO of Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc, Mr Segun Agbaje, has described USSD as a clumsy technology, arguing that the only way to actualise financial inclusion in Nigeria is to drastically reduce the cost of data.
He stated this during a media briefing held on Wednesday, May 17, to discuss the company’s FY 2022 and Q1 2023 earnings reports.
According to him, the USSD is not state-of-the-art technology, which is why other developing countries like India do not use it.
He further argued that the ongoing fight between banks and telcos over USSD is nothing but a distraction by telecom firms from the real issue of high data cost. He said that Nigeria has one of the highest data costs in the world. And this is not good for financial inclusion and the overall economic development of the country.
“USSD is a clumsy technology. It’s not state-of-the-art. The best way to have financial inclusion is to crash the cost of data so that data becomes more affordable. Then we can use what is a superior technology.
“The whole fight about USSD has been a fantastic distraction by the telcos. The rising cost of data in Nigeria versus other economies like ours has been distracted by USSD.
“If you want financial inclusion, then you need to bring down the cost of data. And when you bring down the cost of data, you start to eradicate USSD. But if you insist on using USSD, the banks have told the telcos to charge the end users. The banks don’t get any of the charges. The banks are saying we don’t want to be involved. If you want to charge N20 for the service, go ahead. But collect it yourself. Don’t come to us.
“I keep telling everybody who cares to listen that USSD is not the answer. The answer is to get the cost of data down in Nigeria. If you compare the cost of data in Nigeria to elsewhere, you’d realise that we are being exploited.”
He argued that the Nigerian banking industry is not as profitable as being insinuated because of inflation and devaluation.(www.naija247news.com).