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How to RICA a Sim Card Using Vodacom’s ChatBot TOBi

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Jenna Delport
Jenna Delport
I’m a tech writer, world traveller, avocado-eater and dog lover, not always in that order.

With social distancing as the new norm, one of the most innovative and convenient ways to Self-RICA is through TOBi – Vodacom’s chatbot and trusted self-service team member – which allows existing Vodacom customers to RICA prepaid SIMs from the comfort of their own homes.

Since the Regulation of Interception of Communications and Provision of Communication-Related Information Act (RICA) came into effect in 2011, Vodacom is said to have been working on ways to simplify the process, making it as quick and efficient as possible.

Traditionally customers would have to visit a store and present some form of identification, proof of residence and the SIM card. Now customers simply need to take a picture, scanning a new prepaid SIM card, an ID document or passport for foreign nationals and then record a video with a unique PIN as proof that they are the correct person.

All these identities are compared using AI and biometrics and then verified with the Department of Home Affairs. Once verified, the customer can insert the SIM in any cellphone where they will receive a welcome message from Vodacom with their new cellphone number.

During the Self-RICA process, TOBi will assist with capturing and validating personal information against external trusted sources including the Department of Home Affairs, biometrics and AI – creating ultimate convenience for the customer.

“We have simplified the process and further digitised the journey for our customers. Introducing Self-RICA on our self-service platforms is our way of encouraging customers to perform certain functions from home in support of governments’ call to stay safe and stay at home. From this lockdown period onwards, customers are able to RICA their SIMs from the comfort of their homes,” says Jorge Mendes, Vodacom Chief Officer Consumer Business Unit.

According to Vodacom, TOBi is solving between 10 000 to 20 000 customer queries a day via SMS, WhatsApp, the My Vodacom App and on the Vodacom website.

Edited by Jenna Delport
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