The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) announced that the Authority made the Telecommunciations (Service Provider – Identity Checks for Prepaid Mobile Carriage Services) Determination 2017 on 6 April 2017.
The Determination streamlines and replaces the previous instrument which was last amended in 2013.
The Determination regulates the supply of prepaid mobile services by placing an obligation on service providers to obtain and verify customer identity information before the activation of a prepaid mobile service.
AMTA recognises the ACMA’s efforts in working with industry and other stakeholders to streamline and improve the Determination, making it easier to understand and comply with.
As there is no business requirement to conduct identity checks on prepaid customers, the Determination places an undisputed regulatory burden on industry so any efforts to make the regulation more effective and efficient are appreciated.
In the longer term, however, AMTA believes that biometrics and other developments around identity verification should be considered closely by the ACMA in order to provide more flexible and effective means of verifying customer identity for the purposes of law enforcement and national security agencies.
The amendments made include improvements to:
- Record-keeping requirements;
- The rules relating to assisting customers who have been affected by an emergency situation or domestic violence;
- The range of credit cards and other identity documents that can be used to verify customer identity; and
- The financial transactions method for verifying identity.
AMTA welcomes these changes to the Determination and also notes that alternative compliance plans can now be submitted jointly in order to enable industry co-operation and a consistent approach to compliance.
AMTA will be working with members to submit an alternative compliance plan to the ACMA to potentially further expand the range of credit cards that can be used for identity verification. Such an expanded range would assist service providers in meeting the needs of international visitors to Australia who generally seek to use a credit card issued by a foreign financial institution when activating a prepaid mobile service.
You can read and dowload a copy of the new Determination here.