Safaricom Plc has announced today new measures to deal with SIM swap fraud, an issue that has seen Kenyans lose millions of shillings. The telco said it will be taking a look at the adoption of finger and facial recognition to complement voice biometrics.
The telco announced that mobile money transactions will be suspended for a period of time following a SIM Swap, to prevent fraudsters from accessing customer funds held in M-PESA accounts.
“SIM fraud has been a huge pain point for our customers and we have taken these concerns very seriously. Our customers remain at the centre of everything that we do and in the next couple of months, we will put in place measures that will help us address this issue as we also work closely with DCI and the police,” Safaricom chief executive Bob Collymore said speaking at a briefing after the telco’s annual general meeting.
The CEO, however, noted that the SIM card fraud issue is not as huge as it may appear with about 20 frauds taking place each week.
SIM swap fraud occurs when fraudsters impersonate mobile network agents and ask subscribers for their personal details such as national ID numbers and mobile money PINs. The fraudsters then use this information to swap the subscribers’ SIM card thereby accessing all services including mobile money.
The fraudsters have been working in conjunction with mobile network employees. Last month, a Safaricom employee was arrested in connection with a scam where a Kiambu MCA lost Sh1.9 billion.
PayBill and Till Number Issuance
Bob Collymore also said the mobile operator will crackdown on agents who have been deceptive in the issuance of PayBill and Till Numbers, contravening the laid rules. This was in response to a shareholder who raised the issue during the AGM that there are merchants using PayBill numbers where Till Number are supposed to be used instead.
According to Collymore, PayBill numbers are meant for paying bills such as electricity and water and consumers pay a certain fee for these services. However, consumers do not incur any cost for using Till Numbers because the cost is covered by the merchant.
During the AGM, Safaricom also announced that Susan Mudhune will cease to be a non-executive director of the board while shareholders voted to endorse the Directors’ Remuneration Policy contained in the Directors’ Remuneration Report for the year ended March 31, 2018. Shareholders will receive a final dividend of Sh1.10 on November 30.
Safaricom’s share price today stood at Sh28.25, a drop of 4.24 per cent from the previous price.