CBN directs operators, banks to resolve USSD issues in 2 days 

Godwin Emefiele
Godwin Emefiele

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said banks to treat customers’ issues relating to Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD)within 2 days.

Director, Banking & Payments System Department, CBN, Mr. Dipo Fatokun, in a signed circular, said financial institutions should be responsible for setting up dispute resolution mechanism to facilitate resolution of customers’ complaints.

‘The exposure draft of regulatory framework for USSD for Nigerian financial system’, said appropriate sanctions would be imposed for any contravention on any financial institutions that fails to comply.

The draft eligibility for unique short code stated that Mobile Money Operators are eligible for the issuance of short codes from Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) after meeting the necessary requirements.

It stated that, “For those other than Mobile Money Operators, a letter of comfort from the CBN would be required before being considered for issuance of the short codes by the NCC.”

On vulnerabilities and mitigation, the draft said, “USSD based financial transaction requires and-to–end encryption to protect the integrity of the financial information.

“To this end, all providers of USSD-based financial services shall; put in place a proper message authentication mechanism to validate that requests/responses are generated through authenticated users and use secure USSD communication channels with a strong encryption mechanism; use secure USSD communication channels with a strong encryption mechanism.”

Others are,  “not use the USSD service to relay details of other electronic banking channels (in case of banks), to their customers, to prevent compromise of other electronic banking channels through the USSD channel; implement masked PIN entry and Ensure encryption at USSD gateway by implementing the Hardware Security Module (HMS).”