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Opinion: MTN Reconsider Showing ID At A Merchant Before Transactions

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Disclaimer: Kindly note that everything you are about to read is just the opinion of the writer and not facts. Any information in the content is meant only for informational purposes.

MTN Ghana has announced that from 1st February 2021, Momo merchants will request a Valid Ghanaian ID card in order to perform Momo transactions. I assume this is to check fraudulent transactions that have been in the system for quite some time now.

There are so many things that make these frauds easy to carry out. Below are some of the reasons:

  • Because MTN Momo is the largest Mobile Financial service in Ghana currently.
  • Because Customers over trust MTN with their security
  • Because MTN doesn’t know their customers by real-life Identity
  • Because probably there is no nationwide Database that companies could verify the real identity of Valid national ID cardholders.

As you can see, the above are enough reasons to make MTN Momo users a major target for fraud. One of the things in place that has helped save some momo customers from getting reaped off of all their hard-earned fortune through MoMo scams is probably the withdrawal approval system and the limit on transactions.

Why Merchants Requesting ID Card Before Transactions Could Collapse MoMo Business

MTN Mobile Money being one of the major platforms through which people send money these days also serves as a wallet for some people to move around without carrying lots of physical cash on them. This means that lots of people including myself will not carry their wallet that could contain their ID Card along with their phone.

I have tried carrying my ID Card out without my wallet serveral times and I can remember it didn’t take a week for the ID card to get damaged. I had to go for a reprint at a cost and the process to go for reprint was even the reason why I wouldn’t like to do it again.

Showing an ID card at a merchant before performing transactions especially withdrawals will be very difficult for so many Ghanaians. Just imagine being stranded somewhere because you couldn’t withdraw 10Ghc without showing an ID Card.

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This feels to me like asking people to show their ID Card before withdrawing money from the ATM Machine. I don’t think this will be the best approach to counter the MoMo fraud.

There are lots of people who are already battling KYC updates because they have misplaced the ID card they used in registering MTN Numbers.

Showing ID card at merchants before transactions is going to fraustrate lots of customers especially the middle age and students.

Suggestion

I think the best way to do this is to know the real owners of the Simcard first. The best way to know the customers is to collect more data on customers than just the Date Of Birth, Name, and ID Card Number. Sometimes they don’t even collect a copy of your ID Card.

There must even be if there is non already; a central Database system for the whole nation where companies especially the financial and security sector can verify every Valid Ghanaian ID Card collected.
If there is nothing like that for the nation, then MTN as a company on its own should collect more Mobile Money customer data. More data including photo of the customer, valid GPS address, copy of ID Card to match photo and a Biometric data as well in addition to the usual Name, Date Of Birth and ID card number.

This data could make it easier for customers to replace their simcards easily without ID card since their biodata can be verified and it will also prevent the sim from falling into the wrong hands.

Another advantage is the fact that it will prevent fraudsters from registering Mobile Money with random names since they will have to provide a valid Biodata with real life photo for any name they provide. This will also make it easier for MTN to trace users of the Simcards involved in fraudulent acts.

That is my suggestion. You can leave yours in the comment box below

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