Tanzania: Deactivated SIM Cards in Safe Hands, Says Vodacom

VODACOM Tanzania has pledged to safeguard information of customers whose SIM Cards have been switched off for failure to register biometrical.

This comes after the telecom information released on Tuesday that some 157,000 of its customers already barred from accessing services after failing to register their Sim Cards biometrical.

The Director for Customer Services, Ms Harriet Lwakatare said for those who have been barred or (in the near future) be affected by this ongoing exercise, they should not worry about the content on their Sim Cards as they will be intact for a period of six months until they are biometrical registered.

"Barred customers can access our digital channels and various self-help channels for more information on how to progress their registration status," Ms Lwakatare said.

Vodacom Tanzania Managing Director, Hisham Hendi urged customers who have secured the National ID Numbers to visit over 35,000 Vodacom service points across the country in order to register their lines and continue using the company's services.

"Our shops in major towns will continue to stay open for 24 hours a day / seven days a week in order to accommodate customers affected by the move and who want to biometrically register their lines in order to continue using our services," he said.

He added that only those customers who have secured NINs from NIDA but failed to register their Sim Card before the deadline have been affected by the order from the Tanzania Communication Regulatory Authority (TCRA) to switch off non-biometrically registered phone lines as of January 20, this year.

"Given that the exercise to biometrical register one's Sim Card is an ongoing one, those customers without NINs should visit a NIDA office close to them in order to get one and eventually biometrically register their Sim Cards at any of our service points to avoid any inconveniences," he added.

"As a public listed company Vodacom adheres to laws and regulations of Tanzania and its institutions. This regulation is important for all stakeholders as it makes for good practice around know your customer protections," he said.

Hendi added that the exercise will help in reducing the number of fraudsters as every use can be identified by one's unique finger prints using unique fingerprints will ensure that everyone is known, thus making it easier to combat conmen in our community.

Early last year, the Government under TCRA ordered all SIM card holders to be registered biometrical.

Biometrics are becoming increasingly used as a Know Your Customer (KYC) tool for keeping fraudsters out of customer bases for telecoms as well other industries in the world.

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