Kenyan Regulator Investigates Use of Ultra-Thin SIM Cards

Money Transfer

Kenya's telecoms regulator has said that it will seek outside expert advice on the use of embedded SIM cards following a complaint by Safaricom.

The complaint was sparked by proposals from the Equity Bank to use an ultra-thin SIM card that can sit on top of existing SIM cards to provide direct access to its own mobile money services.

Equity Bank was also recently granted a MVNO license and has signed a wholesale agreement with Airtel. However the thin-SIM would enable it to offer mobile banking services to customers on other mobile networks as well.

Safaricom claims that the plans put subscribers at risk of possible fraud, and filed a complaint with the regulator.

"We have received the letter from Safaricom. We are going to find out from them what security threats using such a technology poses, talk to SIM card manufacturers and also look at industry best practices before we make our ruling," said the regulator's director-general Francis Wangusi.