Telecoms operator Safaricom’s  mobile money agents will soon start using photos to identify those withdrawing or depositing money on the popular M-Pesa platform in a new push to curb fraud. Safaricom said it has distributed about 25,000 pre-programmed smartphones to its mobile money agents to be used in registration of new SIM cards.


The process involves capturing faces of SIM card owners and storing digital copies of the same for retrieval during M-Pesa transactions.


Safaricom, which has 28.1 million registered customers and 19 million active M-Pesa users, said the special phones in use for registration are linked to the Registrar of Persons’ database, helping verify the data as it is fed into the system.


Safaricom says the digital database, which is also being populated with photos of existing subscribers, should ease service delivery as agents and customer care representatives need not ask for proof of identity prior to allowing a transaction.


The Business Daily has established that M-Pesa agents will be conducting all transactions through the company-issued mobile phones, allowing them to validate the national ID card details presented to them and the person doing so…