MTN’s “No ID No Withdrawal”
MTN Ghana successfully implemented the “No ID, No Withdrawal” policy last week. The intention behind this is to reduce cyber fraud relating to Mobile Money (MoMo) transactions to the minimal.
So now, instead just going to a MoMo facility and requesting to withdraw an amount which the balance on account can pay and all you have to do is to just key in your pin code and you will be given the amount, this time you will need to first show your valid ID if you must receive the amount requested.
How only this can limit fraud is a bit confusing to me. However, all I can say is that MTN wants to make sure that only the account holder can withdraw from the MoMo account. So no one can force you under the pain of death to surrender your phone and pin code of your MoMo account, and then he goes off personally to a facility and withdraw all your money.
In my opinion, MTN and other providers can be blame for the fraud being undertaken with mobile phones. They have thousands of agents out there who could easily connect a sim card online without duly registering the number and the buyer. So many people have sim cards not registered in their official names.
The Ministry of Communications and the National Communication Authority (NCA) served notice last year or two that soon all mobile phone numbers will be duly registered with valid IDs for easy tracing of the owner should the need arise.
I think this is more important than the “No ID, No Withdrawals.” Many frauds are being committed because the owner of the number cannot be traced. People can just buy a sim card, use it for the purpose they intended to, and then throw it away.
Scammers and fraudsters could easily use a mobile phone line to transact deals, and once they are successful or about to be caught, they discard the sim card and move on with life.
It could be very obvious that some of the sim card retailers are either criminals or are in partnership with the criminals. Since there is a moratorium between buying the sim card and duly registering within which time the sim card can be used, the criminals can obtain and use them for the purpose they would want to, within that window of operation.
What MTN and others need to consider is to make sure only qualified persons are engaged to retail mobile phone sim cards. They should programme into their systems apps that can easily detect a call or message sent by an unregistered sim card and cut it off before the call or message gets to its destination. Or, at least, until a sim card is duly registered it cannot be used. With this, it will become useless to evil intended persons who only want to perpetuate crimes.
While waiting for the Ministry of Communication to carry out this very important policy, I believe all service providers must protect their name and brand by making sure that criminals do not take advantage of their services and do what they know best.
International scam, fraud and crime in general are sky rocketing, and one important means of implementing such vices is by communication. While a desk phone can easily be traced, a mobile phone cannot except through the number on the sim card.
Countries where the sim cards are not duly registered allow criminals to transact their business without getting caught.
Ghana must stand up and stand out as a nation with communication laws that protect everyone.
Hon Daniel Dugan