Nairobi News


You will soon need your fingerprint to register Safaricom SIM card

Following the upsurge in SIM card fraud, Safaricom is now looking at improving the procedure of swapping or replacing subscribers’ SIM card by introducing biometric.

The telco’s CEO Bob Collymore announced the intended move on Friday in the wake of the arrest of several employees of the company who have been linked to defrauding unsuspecting Kenyans through SIM swap.

“We are exploring on different things to make sure you SIM card is secure, one of them which will involve scanning your finger print or calling your number as you upgrade your SIM card to make sure that you are the owner of the card,” said Mr Collymore.

However, the company has not given the timeline of when they will start to introduce the new procedure.

At least 12 Safaricom employees have been prosecuted for fraud with cases of customer falling prey to fraudsters having risen remarkably.


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Last week, detectives smashed a suspected SIM fraud ring and arrested four suspects in Kiambu County and seized 30,000 SIM cards.

Many subscribers have fallen victim to fraudsters who call them posing as mobile operators from telecommunication employees.

The unsuspecting subscribers get baited the moment they give out their personal details which are either used to obtain funds from their mobile wallets or bank accounts.

In 2017, Safaricom introduced voice biometric system aimed at reducing fraud and helping its customers to reduce cases of identity theft.

The system, dubbed Jitambulishe, allows customers to access Safaricom services such as resetting M-Pesa PIN and PUK requests through a faster and less intrusive vetting process.

The system capture customer’s voice patterns to create a unique “voiceprint and store it as a secure string of numbers and characters, attributes that will help identify and verify callers when they reach out for customer care”.