Globe vows to protect financial consumers against SIM card swap

Published January 11, 2022, 2:40 PM

by Lee C. Chipongian

Ayala-owned Globe Telecom Inc. has assured banks and credit card companies that it continues to maintain and to improve its “rigorous” Know-Your-Customer (KYC) procedures to establish customer identity and to protect financial consumers against SIM (subscriber identity module)-related fraud.

“Globe is one with the community and various industry sectors in strengthening security measures to prevent and stop online fraud,” said the telco in response to the Credit Card Association of the Philippines’ (CCAP) recent appeal for the telco sector to implement measures to tighten SIM card registration and prevent SIM card swap.

In a statement, Globe said it “acknowledges the principle of shared responsibility between our customers as data subjects and the institutions that serve customers as Personal Information Controllers and Personal Information Processors to protect customer data.”

“As a service provider in the fast paced telco industry, we will strike a balance between serving our customers’ legitimate requests for SIM replacement due to lost or stolen devices, or defective SIMs, while providing more than adequate safety measures, both physical and digital, to protect customers from fraudsters and scammers,” said Globe.

CCAP has been urging the telcos to tighten their existing KYC process when onboarding new prepaid and postpaid customers, particularly when it comes to the ID verification process when customers request to change mobile numbers when declaring a lost or stolen mobile unit, it added in the statement.

Globe said it has “invested substantially” in its data security framework and they “continue to review and improve our processes and controls to meet the dynamic needs of our customers, as a pioneer of this digital age.”

They also continue to educate their clients by regularly providing information on security and data privacy awareness campaigns. “We constantly remind our customers that they should not share personal information such as birth dates, anniversary dates, school or company ID details, TIN, passport details, and most especially, never share the MPIN to another person, as this is what often leads to highly targeted identity theft and is the main cause of SIM swap cases,” said Globe.

Last week, CCAP has called on the telecommunication sector, its regulators and lawmakers to implement effective measures to stop credit card fraud through SIM card swap. The group made an appeal especially to both Globe and PLDT’s Smart Communications Inc.

According to CCAP, which has 18 credit card companies as members, fraudulent credit card activities via remote and other digital payment channels have increased by 21 percent since early 2020 when the global pandemic started. It has identified the so-called “Virtual Account Take Over” as the dominant scam in the country today.

CCAP has been pushing for the passage of House Bill 5793 or the “Subscriber Identity Module Card Registration Act,” and Senate Bill 2395 or the “SIM Card Registration Act,” which were already approved on third and final reading in both Houses of Congress. Both proposed measures are seeking to establish a system of SIM card sale and registration to help law enforcers track down those who use mobile phones to engage in criminal activities, said CCAP.