Zambia moves ahead with biometric SIM card registration


As of January 2020 Zambia will implement biometric SIM card registration to combat fraud.

Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA) Corporate Communications Manager Edward Mulenga said all Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) would be required to comply with the biometric standards, conduct regular interval verification exercises to ensure accuracy of SIM database and furnish the authority with a report of all deregistered SIM cards.

MNOs are required to relay to ZICTA the total number of subscribers with more than ten registered MSISDNs under the same identity card, Mulenga added.

He confirmed a meeting held between ZICTA and MNOs on 21 May 2019 during which the directives were explained and agreed upon.

"The authority will place obligations on the seller of SIM cards including use of identity cards for ease of identification. Failure to adhere to the directive will attract punitive measures within the law. MNOs should also send an updated dealers' register to the authority and a report on the agents responsible for any inaccurate registrations and any fraudulent activities," Mulenga said.

To date there has been no response from MNOs regarding the latest directives or how much it would cost to comply.

The Minister of Communications and Transport Brian Mushimba last month raised concerns over the loss of public confidence in the local mobile money market and the issue of unsolicited, unauthorised access to funds within subscriber mobile money accounts.