Pakistan launches new biometric system to curb fake SIM cards

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Pakistan launches new biometric system to curb fake SIM cards

In Pakistan, the telecom sector has begun providing SIM cards for mobile phones using Multi Finger Biometric Verification System, an improved version of Biometric Verification System (BVS) (MBVS).

Through NADRA and CMOs, the BVS devices that are currently on the market have been modified to comply with the new system’s standards. The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority stated in a press release that the new system demands impressions of several fingers for authentication and applicant antecedents for providing new or duplicate SIM.

The mechanism that randomly requests the impressions of two different fingers has taken over from the seller representative’s discretion over the choice of fingers for verification purposes. The use of counterfeit fingerprints will be impossible after the new system is put into place.

After a successful transition to the new BVS, the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) and Cellular mobile Operators (CMOs) signed a contract in this respect at the PTA headquarters.

The PTA Chairman, retired Major General Amir Azeem Bajwa, the Nadra Chairman, Muhammad Tariq Malik, the Member (Compliance & Enforcement) of the PTA, Dr. Khawar Siddique Khokhar, the Additional Director General of the FIA, and officials from CMOs were present at the signing event.

As he praised the tireless work of CMOs and Nadra in upgrading MBVS, Chairman PTA stated that the new system will act as a catalyst in limiting the sales of SIMs issued unlawfully.

According to the Nadra chief, MBVS has enormous potential to deter fraudsters and con artists. According to him, MBVS is a smart solution that employs a proprietary smart algorithm in which the system suggests the user’s finger instead of using predetermined finger locations.

“MBVS will prevent attempts to buy illegitimate SIMs in addition to eliminating silicon-based fingerprints used for SIM issuance. The new method will fight ID fraud, fraudulent SIM issuing, safeguard privacy, and boost national security, he continued.

In order to provide secure online biometric authentication for each SIM related transaction, assign Unique Sale IDs, and log each transaction so that the person in charge of misuse is found, the BVS was initially put into place in 2014.

However, MBVS has been introduced to further improve the system and address issues with SIMs issued through illegal means.

By doing this, the use of SIMs obtained illegally in fraudulent financial transactions and other criminal acts will be reduced.

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