Financial industry enlisted into SIM registration effort

THE Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) called on financial institutions to urge their clients to register their subscriber identification module (SIM) cards by April 26 to head off any disruption in digital payment transactions.  

In a memorandum letter dated April 22 and signed by Deputy Governor Mamerto E. Tangonan, BSP-Supervised Financial Institutions (BSFIs) were urged to support Republic Act No. 11934 or the SIM Registration Act.

“BSFIs are advised to take proactive measures to ensure that their clients are aware of and comply with the registration requirement on or before said deadline in order for their access to payments and financial services to proceed smoothly,” the BSP said.

The SIM Registration Act requires mobile phone users to register their SIM cards as a fraud and cybercrime prevention measure.

“Failure to register will result in automatic deactivation of existing SIM cards. The deactivation may cause unnecessary interruptions in the access and use by a client of a BSFI’s electronic payments and financial services,” the central bank said.  

Deactivation of SIM cards may also hinder the generation of one-time passwords for access and transaction authorization, as well as the issuance of advisories and transaction alerts, the BSP said.

The measure was signed into law on Oct. 10 and taking effect Dec. 27, 2022.

The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) rejected appeals to extend the SIM registration deadline by Smart Communications, Inc., Globe Telecom, Inc., and DITO Telecommunity Corp.

The DICT estimates that only 43.4% or 73 million of the 168.9 million SIM card users have registered.

Of the SIMs registered, 36.11 million are Smart subscribers. Globe accounted for 31.59 million and DITO 5.33 million. — Keisha B. Ta-asan