MTN MoMo introduces second layer validation process

Eli Hini

After a fortnight of implementing the new MTN Mobile Money (MoMo) directive of ‘No ID card, no cash out’, MTN has introduced a new security feature in the transaction process to address challenges experienced so far.

The new feature took effect yesterday, April 14, 2021, and is called ‘Second layer validation’. It comes in handy to perform the simple function of enabling MoMo Agents’ to access the data of persons coming to do withdrawals on their phone. and compare it with details on the ID card before carrying out the transaction.

Hitherto, agents were not able to access the name, ID type and number of the person doing a withdrawal; but with this new feature taking effect, agents can access all that information when initiating a transaction and compare it with the ID card in the client’s hand.

According to MTN Ghana, the current system in place only verifies the validity of an ID Card used for a withdrawal process after the transaction is performed; and so when there is an information mismatch it is difficult to fault the agent or trace the person, hence the need for this new feature so agents can compare the data provided against what is in the system.

Chief Executive Officer, Mobile Financial Services-MTN Ghana, Eli Hini, indicated that the second layer validation process is a security feature that gives additional information for agents to verify that the person doing the transaction is actually the account’s true owner.

“With the introduction of a new ID Card requirement initiative, feedbacks were picked up and a major concern was real-time validation of customer information before a transaction is carried out – which is difficult and looks impossible because transaction time is limited and may lead to failure or time-out severally; therefore, customers could not even carry out their transactions at all.

“Even if we want to carry out a real-time validation process with our system, then it will mean that only the specific ID used to register the SIM will be accepted; therefore, people with new IDs or different forms of nationally-accepted IDs will have their transactions terminated for data mismatch. But with what we have done, validation is processed based on data captured against the IDs that are accessible from our end,” he said.

He further reiterated that with this new system MoMo agents can no longer say ‘we only capture data, we cannot verify’ because now the data of a person doing any withdrawal on the MTN system will be given to them so they can compare it to the name and face of the person standing in front of them.

“If you are performing a transaction, the name on the ID card must tally with the one in the system; it cannot be anyone else. So, you cannot proceed when the names do not tally. The agent must immediately discontinue the process and advise the person, because he may be a fraudster. Agents who default on this directive shall cautioned on the first instant, but when its repeated they may be blacklisted immediately,” he stressed.

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