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MTN Nigeria Commences Trial of e-SIM Services

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MTN Nigeria Has Started Trial of e-SIM Services

MTN Nigeria Plc on Wednesday said it has commenced e-SIM services trial to better drive digital transformation, foster inclusion, improve customer experience and maintain the highest quality of service.

This, it said was after the telecommunications giant received necessary approvals from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

In a statement signed by Uto Ukpanah, Company Secretary, MTN Nigeria, and released on the Nigerian Stock Exchange’s website, it said “the next step in the evolution of Subscriber Identity Modules (SIM cards), e-SIMs are designed to deliver unprecedented freedom and flexibility. Unlike the physical SIM, e-SIMs are built into smartphones, devices and wearables. They support multiple profiles and allow customers to connect multiple numbers to their e-SIM devices.

“Notwithstanding the sophistication of e-SIMs, the onboarding requirements are the same as are required for a physical SIM. Hence, SIM registration in lin with existing regulatory prescriptions remains a requirement for activating a device embedded with an e-SIM.

“The trial which kicked-off today will run for one year and is open on a first come first served basis to a limited number of subscribers who own compatible devices.”

Speaking on the development, Mazen Mroue, Chief Operating Officer, MTN Nigeria, Said “with the introduction of the e-SIM, we will offer customers a seamless and distinctive digital experience with new levels of flexibility, simplicity and convenience. This is a further demonstration of our firm commitment to delivering the benefits of a bold new digital world to our customers; and we will continue seeking new ways to provide solutions that address old and new challenges, making life a little easier and brighter,” Mroue stated.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial market.

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Ecobank Upgrades Mobile App, Launches Cardless Withdrawal Service

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Ecobank Launches Cardless Withdrawal Service

In a move to reach the over 100 million unbanked Nigerians and Africans, Ecobank has launched a cardless withdrawal service to allow a large number of people outside the banking sector access bank services.

According to the bank, its mobile application was upgraded to an all-in-one bank account and payment/cash withdrawal tool.

In the statement released on social media, the lender said its ‘Xpress Cash’ functionality allows customers to access their cash ‘cardless’ at any Ecobank Automated Teller Machine (ATM) using only their mobile phone.

Customers can access cash via e-Token generated from their Ecobank mobile application, according to the bank. The innovation is seamless, secure and reliable.

The bank explained that the e-token can also be redeemed at any of its numerous agent locations across the country.

Speaking on the innovation, Ade Ayeyemi, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Ecobank, said “Innovating for customer convenience is in our DNA at Ecobank.

He added: “We have developed this fast, convenient and innovative mobile banking solution – cardless Xpress Cash at our ATMs and Agencies to embed our digital platforms within the lifestyle of our customers and improve the uptake of digital financial solutions by both banked and unbanked in Africa.

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9mobile Joins MTN, Launches E-Sim Service 

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9mobile Launches E-Sim Service

Nigeria’s mobile network operators have joined the rest of the world in launching E-Sim, an embedded sim.

In July, MTN Nigeria set the ball rolling with the launching of its E-Sim trial. This was followed by 9mobile that launched its E-Sim earlier this month.

E-Sim is a form of an in-built sim that is embedded directly into a device without using a physical Sim.

Speaking on the new E-Sim, the Acting Director of Marketing, 9mobile, Layi Onafowokan, described the latest move as the most excellent experience that advanced technology provides.

According to him, the E-Sim is an in-built sim embedded in mobile devices in order to reduce the possibility of losing or damaging sim and eliminate the stress of dealing with the cutting of sim cards or finding adaptors.

It also enables multiple usage and adaptation of one subscriber profile across a broad range of mobile communication devices, internet of things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI) apps including smart commuting, metering, tracking, and surveillance, rather than the restricted single-device use of the conventional SIM card.

Onafowokan said: “Customers can walk into any of our select 9mobile Experience Centres to request E-Sim activation. A QR code will be provided to scan and download E-Sim profile and perform the usual SIM registration.

He added that customers that activate E-Sim service will enjoy up to 7GB data-free while those who want to change to E-Sim will only do a SIM swap at approved centres.

E-Sim is compatible with Google Device like Pixel 3, 3 XL, 4, and Pixel 4 XL. Apple Device like Iphone 11, 11 Pro, 11 Pro Max, Xs, Xs Max and Iphone XR. Samsung S20 Series.

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Financial Institutions Owe Telecoms Over N17b in Unpaid USSD Service -NCC

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Banks Owe Telecommunication Companies Over N17b in Unpaid USSD Service

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has said financial institutions offering Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) service owe telecommunication companies over N17 billion.

Prof. Umar Danbatta, the Executive Vice Chairman, NCC, disclosed this on Thursday at a virtual forum organised by the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON).

In the forum titled ‘Meeting the interests of government, consumers and telecoms companies in the era of Covid-19 and post COVID-19 pandemic for digital economy development’, Danbatta said the debt accumulated after the commission suspended its determination on USSD pricing in 2019.

However, the Chairman said in order to protect the interest of consumers and support the growing telecommunications sector, the commission has decided to revise the 2019 determination on USSD.

Speaking on the suspension of end-user billings Dr. Isa Pantami, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, said the decision was to ease customers’ burden and ensure justice across the board.

He said, “USSD is a service to banks and not telecoms consumers, and as such, banks should see themselves as corporate customers of telecoms operators with a duty to pay for using the telecoms networks and infrastructure, including USSD channels extended to them for service delivery to their customers.

According to him, “Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) have no direct relationship with bank customers, and cannot therefore charge directly for usage of USSD channel,” he explained.

The NCC, therefore, asked Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) and financial institutions offering USSD service to reach an agreement on a rate that works for both parties.

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