Kenya: House team halts Equity Bank’s thin-SIM rollout

John Waweru (left), the chairman of Finserve, a subsidiary of Equity Bank, with the bank’s chief executive, James Mwangi, during a briefing on July 30, 2014. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP NATION MEDIA GROUP

The National Assembly’s Energy and ICT Committee has asked the Communications Authority (CA) to halt Equity Bank’s thin-SIM card rollout until it is satisfied about the security of the technology. Nation Daily Reports

The move by the parliamentary team comes two days after the regulators, CA and the Central Bank of Kenya, allowed Equity Bank to launch mobile money services using the technology.

The regulators dismissed Safaricom’s objections on the new card — which will ride on existing SIM cards — saying that initial investigations showed “that no major complaints and particularly on interception of traffic of the primary SIM card have been reported so far.”

Safaricom had welcomed the regulators’ decision, saying they were happy with the commitment to review security on the thin-SIM card and publish guidelines to protect consumers and industry players.

However, it said it would review its legal commitments to its M-Pesa customers using the overlay SIM cards by Equity Bank.

Earlier, Equity Bank had been allowed to deploy its mobile phone banking and cash transfer service over a one-year trial period as Reported by CNBC Africa