The move is reportedly in response to urging from the Nigeria Communications Commission, a regulatory body that has criticized the mobile operator for failing to deactivate the accounts of about 5.4 million customers who didn’t fully register for their SIM cards. The issue first came to light last year, when MTN Nigeria ordered biometric enrolment equipment from Novateqni Corporation.
Now putting the plan into action, MTN Nigeria is offering customers bonus airtime as an incentive to register their biometrics, in a customer relations effort seeking to minimize annoyance on the part of both new customers and current subscribers. Some have observed a sense of fatigue in the country over biometric data collection and management, which hasn’t occurred in as centralized a process as in other countries such as India with its Aadhaar program. But the requirement of biometric authentication for mobile subscribers is something Nigeria shares with that country and some others as it is increasingly seen as an important security measure, not to mention a means of convenient customer management for MNOs.
January 11, 2016 – by Alex Perala