MTN Mobile Money merchants whose accounts have been blocked for one month have up to the close of today April 15, to cash out money from their wallets.
“We have allowed them to take out their money. We started from Tuesday to the close of day today,” the Senior Manager for Compliance, Anti-Money Laundering and Mobile Money Services at MTN, Godwin Tamakloe said on the Citi Breakfast Show.
MTN Mobile Money currently requires a valid national ID card before a withdrawal can be made.
The policy is part of measures by the telecom giant to curb fraud.
The process has been digitised, so agents don’t record the ID details of customers in booklets, potentially risking their privacy.
The accounts of some merchants were blocked because they entered the wrong ID numbers of customers.
Though MTN does not have real-time validation of the ID numbers, it is able to review their validity subsequently.
In the cases that resulted in suspensions, Mr. Tamakloe said there were clear attempts to beat the system.
“When you pick some of the examples of the numbers they capture, you realise this [the suspension] is because the person tried to go round the system. Somebody will put 1234567890.”
“There is a clear-cut intention when you look at some of these things, and they will not do it once or twice. Some will do it about 100 times in the days we are reviewing,” he noted.
Some affected mobile money vendors massed up at various MTN offices across the country on Tuesday, to demand explanations for the suspension.
They blamed the telecom company for failing to sensitise them before implementing the policy.
According to them, they were unable to detect fake ID numbers.