The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has announced a new regulatory framework for the use of Unstructured Supplementary Service Data USSD in the country’s financial system
The implementation of the new framework will take effect on June 1st, 2018. In a circular announcing the framework, Director, Banking System and Payments Department, CBN, stated, “Transactions may be limited to a N100,000 per day. Customers who want a higher limit shall execute an indemnity with their banks.”
“Two factor authentication will be required for transactions above N20,000.”
“Two factor authentication (2FA) shall not be sent to the customer’s device or displayed on the USSD menu.”
“Banks are to install a Behavioural Monitoring system with capability to detect SIM-Swap/Churn status, user location, unusual transactions at weekends, etc. This shall be achieved by 31st October 2018.”
“Service providers should put in place systems that enable users/subscribers to block their account from operating USSD service.”
“No USSD Financial Service should be activated for customer unless the deactivation mechanism is put in place with effect from June, 2018.”
“Financial Institutions shall be responsible for setting up dispute resolution mechanism to facilitate resolution of customers’ complaints.”
“Resolution of any customer related issues must be resolved within 3 working days. Non-compliance shall be subject to penalty as prescribed by the CBN.”
“The appropriate Regulator (CBN and/or NCC) as applicable shall impose appropriate sanctions for any contravention on any participant that fails to comply with the Framework.”
The USSD technology is a protocol used by GSM networks to communicate with a service provider’s platform.
It is a session-based, real-time messaging communication technology, which is accessed through a string, which starts normally with an asterisk (*) and ends with a hash (#). It is considered cost-effective, more user-friendly, faster in concluding transactions, and handset agnostic.