Registering your cellphone ‘will help combat fraud’
You have until January 2011 to register your cellphone’s SIM card with your network provider in terms of Rica. Neesa Moodley-Isaacs reports on why it is important that you register and what it entails.
As cellphone banking becomes increasingly popular, so does the risk of becoming a victim of fraud. This is all the more reason you should register your cellphone’s SIM card as required by the Regulation of Interception of Communications and Provision of Communication-related Information Act (Rica) as soon as possible, Clive Pillay, the Ombudsman for Banking Services, says.
The 2008 All Media and Products Survey found that 86 percent of South African households have access to at least one cellphone, and there are about 40 million active cellphone numbers in South Africa. (According to market research company Eighty20 Consulting, South Africa’s population is just over 50 million.)
Pillay says the importance of Rica is highlighted by the fact that in 2005 banks lost R83 million to fraudsters using stolen or copied identity documents, while identity theft could have cost South Africa close to R1 billion last year.
“The use of technology in the banking realm has led to numerous scams. This is why it is so important that you are Rica-compliant: so that the opportunity for technological fraud is reduced to a certain extent,” he says.
Pillay says the Protection of Personal Information Bill, which was tabled in Parliament in August, will offer you further protection against scam artists.
The Mobility 2009 research project, which was commissioned by First National Bank and conducted by market research company World Wide Worx, found that more South Africans use cellphone banking than inter net banking. The study included research among 1 000 consumers in metropolitan areas, 1 000 small and medium enterprises and 240 large companies.
Arthur Goldstuck, the managing director of World Wide Worx, says 16 percent of bank clients in South Africa use internet banking compared with 28 percent who bank using their cellphones.
The study revealed that the main services used by cellphone bankers are balance inquiries and transaction notifications (three-quarters of cellphone bankers use only these two features). Just under half of all cellphone bankers use their cellphones to view bank statements, 35 percent to transfer money between accounts and 28 percent to pay accounts.
Goldstuck says only eight percent of cellphone bankers add beneficiaries via their cellphones, which is an indication of concerns over security and uncertainty over how cellphone banking works.
“Our research shows that although South Africans are becoming more comfortable with cellphone banking, precisely half of general banking customers are still nervous of it, citing trust as their major concern,” he says.