MTN: No MoMo cashout if ID does not match name on wallet

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MTN Ghana has said that beginning from Good Friday, April 2, 2021, all mobile money customers would have to present a valid ID card that marches the name on the mobile money account before they can make a cash out transaction. 

Initially, the company announced that customers would need to present an ID card to the mobile money agent before a cash out transaction can be done, but CEO for MobileMoney Limited, Eli Hini has made it clearer to ABC New GH that the ID card required for cash out must march the name used in registering the SIM card and mobile money account.

This, he said is to prevent fraudsters who take hold of another person’s phone and MoMo PIN from doing a cash out from their wallets.

He said the valid ID types that would be required from customers include Ghana Card, Driving License, Passport, Voter’s ID, SSNIT card and NHIS, adding that  MoMo agents have been directed to select the ID type presented and enter the ID card number before the transaction can be completed.

“Without a valid ID card that marches the name on the MoMo account, the MoMo transactions cannot be processed,” Hini said.

Proxy Transactions

It is not uncommon to find people using phone numbers and MoMo accounts registered in the names of other persons. This situation is in two fold – firstly, some people buy already registered SIM cards with MoMo accounts and because IDs are not required for MoMo transactions, they get to use it without any challenges.

In the second scenario, some parents and employers have registered MoMo wallets in their own names, on behalf of their children and or employees.

But Eli Hini said per Bank of Ghana regulations, no one is allowed to hold and use an account registered in another person’s name, so the only option is to transfer the account into the name of the user, provided he or she is 18 years and above.

“Just as you cannot operate a regular Bank account in another person’s name, same can be said of MoMo wallet. You are not supposed to have a wallet in another person’s name,” he stated.

He therefore suggests that if for some reason the owner of the account cannot do the transaction himself, it would be best to transfer the cash electronically to someone else who can, instead of giving the phone to another person to go to the agent for the transaction.

That option, according to him, helps to prevent the owner from compromising his mobile money PIN.

Health grounds

Eli Hini however noted that if, for health reasons, the owner cannot go to the agent and has to do the transaction by proxy, the wallet owner would be required to send a letter from the health facility directly to MTN service center (not agents) and include his ID and that of the appointed proxy.

“If the person cannot use the phone then we require a letter from an authority (e.g. if he/she is on admission, we require a letter from the hospital and contact details of the doctor in charge and this should be sent to our service center ONLY with the person’s ID and the ID of the person presenting the request for cash out for assistance,” he said.

He MTN however, suggested that in case the sick person can use the phone, it would be better for him or her to perform a transfer to a family member or a friend who can assist with the cash out, adding that “this is to prevent the customer from compromising his/her PIN.”

MTN has therefore instructed its agents not to perform any cash-out transaction for anyone who presents an ID that does not march the name used in opening the Mobile Wallet, except at its customer care shop, which are mandated to receive medical reports as evidence to back proxy transactions.

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