The Director for Consumer and Corporate Affairs at the National Communication Authority (NCA) has said that double biometric verification – one on your mobile and the other at the telco’s office – is necessary to weed out mobile money fraudsters.
Speaking in an interview on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show on Wednesday, Nana Defie Badu stated that the previous method of registering SIM cards was unreliable and unverifiable.
She explained that, “at that time, people or subscribers used to register their SIM cards using IDs such as the passport, voter’s ID and the driver’s license.
“The process then was that, you would go with your ID to an agent or mobile network customer care shop, and then they would take the details.”
But what was wrong with that system she said, is that the IDs were unverifiable, thus people with malicious intent could register their SIM cards using other people’s IDs and there was no way to check that.
“So I could take your ID card. If I were an agent, I could take your ID card and register for SIMs in your name without your knowledge. And then I would use this SIM card for crime or for fraud activities. There was no way of checking the IDs after you had done that registration, to make sure that ID even belonged to the person who had used it to register that SIM card,” she said.
Nana Defie Badu is hopeful that with the introduction of the new stringent measures, the occurrence of stolen identities and other forms of mobile money fraud could be appropriately dealt with.
“One of the key challenges we’re trying to solve with this registration process is to make sure that we actually verify that Ghana Card you have used to do that link when you do the *404#, that Ghana Card belongs to you as an individual and you are the bonafide owner of that Ghana Card”.
Meanwhile, she indicated that Mobile Money Agents have welcomed the news concerning the SIM card re-registration.
Nana Defie Badu said the promise of a solution to the scams and fraud that have plagued their businesses has fueled their excitement about the exercise.
“If you go on social media, you would hear a lot of scammers and all that and there’s no way to trace them. And even with the banking industry, people using people’s SIM cards to commit fraud and all that. There is a whole mix of issues we’re trying to resolve here” she said.