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Safaricom considers fingerprint biometrics for SIM registration


Safaricom, a leading mobile network operator in Kenya, is considering using biometrics to reduce SIM fraud.

Chief executive Bob Collymore told Business Daily Africa that incidents such as a recent SIM swap fraud incident that led to the arrest of 22 suspects, including some Safaricom staff, requires “more technical solutions” that might include “finger” biometrics.

According to Business Daily Africa, in the latest SIM card swap fraud, the fraudster made calls pretending to be an employee of a mobile network operator.

When a mobile user picks the call, the fraudster asks the unsuspecting customer to share their information such as their national ID number, mobile money PIN, or SIM card PIN.

After obtaining the information, the fraudster then swaps the SIM card, thereby accessing all SIM services, including: mobile money transfer, mobile and Internet banking, voice calls, SMS, and data services.

Collymore notes that due to recent problems. the company is “looking at introducing biometrics for SIM swaps.” He further noted that: “Meanwhile, if you want to do SIM swaps and the line is active, we will send a message with a request” that will require confirmation.

Previously reported, Kenya is set to launch a national biometric registration process to improve government services and security.

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