Cellphone service MTN has announced it is introducing “an industry-first biometric system” to protect its customers against ID theft.

“As the festive season approaches‚ it unfortunately often also brings with it an increase in consumer fraud. So‚ to further protect customers‚ MTN has strengthened its security with the introduction of first for the telecoms sector in South Africa – a state-of-the-art fingerprint biometric solution‚” the company said in a statement.

The biometrics will be used to authenticate the identity of post-paid subscribers when they undertake a range of transactions‚ including applying for a new contract or an additional SIM‚ performing an upgrade or SIM swap and loading of chargeable value added services.

“…The system links to the credit bureau’s expansive consumer database and can easily match customer’s fingerprints with their identity number‚” the company said.

The company’s intention is to protect customers from fraudulent transactions that “often originate elsewhere as identity theft”.

Jacqui O’Sullivan‚ corporate affairs executive at MTN SA‚ said: “So many South Africans have become victims of identity theft and a first stop for these criminals is often the retail environment. Our fingerprint biometric solution will go a long way in enhancing the experience of our customers and protecting subscribers from the scourge of identity theft.”

The fingerprint biometric system is being rolled out to all MTN stores.


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