Last year, Safaricom introduced a SIM registration consent that was meant to bar anyone from registering a Safaricom SIM card using your ID without your consent.
Safaricom stated that the move was following numerous complaints from customers finding out that their National Identification details have been used to register new numbers without their consent and used to commit crimes.
A research contacted by Daily Press also revealed that there were also high numbers of cases where individuals found themselves blacklisted with Credit Reference Bureau (CRB) after Safaricom SIM Cards registered under their names were used to borrow money from mobile money lenders.
To fight this and many more other cases, Safaricom launched a service that will assist in fighting this kind of fraud.
Months after the introduction of the new Safaricom SIM card registration consent, we went out on a mission to find out if indeed no one can register another SIM card in your name without your consent.
One of our team members approached a Safaricon agent and asked for a SIM registration services. Considering he already had another Safaricom SIM card we wanted to know if indeed the consent was a requirement.
The agent requested for a National from our team member. He told us the SIM card was free of charge but one has to purchase a Ksh. 50 airtime upon registration. He agreed on the terms.
The agent begun the registration process and asked our team member to pick one of the available number on the system for the registration.
Upon picking one of the available numbers for the registration on the system, the Safaricom agent inquired to know if he had another number and if it was active. Upon confirming that indeed he had another active number. A short SMS was sent to his phone notifying him that there was another request for SIM card registration using his ID.
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The SMS required that he responds with a Yes or a No depending on whether he a proves the request or not.
“Dear customer, a new number 702XXXX02 is about to be registered under your ID number. Please reply with Yes to continue or NO to cancel the registration.” The SMS sent from Safaricom 707 SMS number read.
Upon confirming and giving the consent, another SMS was received confirming the authorization.
“Dear customer, your response has been received. Your new line registration proceeds.” The message read.
So, we sort to inquire whether it was possible to register a second number without the consent. We were informed that with the new regulation it was impossible.
Whenever a customer’s National ID number is used to register a new SIM card, he/she will receive an SMS notification from service number 707 asking for consent. The customer will be prompted to accept or cancel the registration.
We were also informed that during the registration, if a customer responds with ‘no’, the new line will not be registered and the matter will be escalated automatically to Safaricom fraud team for investigation. If the customer chooses not to respond with either of the options given, the registration will not be completed.
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According to official statement from Safaricom, the new service applies to customers registering a second or more lines with Safaricom.
“If it is a first line the service will not launch. Once a customer tries to register a new line, the system will check for the most active number on the network or M-PESA that is registered under the same ID number and send a notification to this number for consent.” Safaricom stated.
It is no secrete that the new consent requirement will greatly help in curbing fraud cases.