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For mobile providers: identity checking for prepaid mobile services

For mobile providers: identity checking for prepaid mobile services


Mobile providers are obliged to obtain and,
where necessary, verify customer identity information, before activating a prepaid mobile
service. There are a range of methods now available for providers to verify customer
identity information. The identity information that you obtain is
most important – it identifies who signed-up or activated the service. This information
limits the potential for prepaid mobile services to be used anonymously for criminal purposes. You can still verify a customer’s evidence
of identity at the point-of-sale, but you can now verify identity at the point of activation
– over the phone or online. The same rules still apply when you’re verifying identity
at the point-of-sale. Either way, the information you need to obtain
includes the customer’s name and address. You will also need to check the customer’s
evidence of identity—typically the information recorded on a driver licence or Australian
passport is valid. An evidence of identity document can be verified
online or over the phone using a Government online verification service, which will simply
tell you if the information recorded on a document is valid or not. Or, if it better suits the situation, you
can choose from a range of other methods to verify a customer’s identity, such as confirming
details of an existing post-paid mobile or landline account the customer has with you,
or an account with a financial institution in the customer’s name. When the evidence of identity has been successfully
verified, the service can be activated and records stored. If you use a third party to verify the identity
of your customers on your behalf, you are ultimately responsible for complying with
the identity checking rules. Civil penalties may apply for any non-compliance. Personal information is, of course, subject
to privacy laws. You cannot copy any identifying document shown to you, nor are you permitted
to retain the number of an I.D. document. Remember, you can only retain the number of
a credit or debit card with the customer’s consent. All records must be retained for as long as
the service is active. For more information on these identity checking
rules go to www.acma.gov.au
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