Fingerprinting required for mobile phone users

Fingerprinting required for mobile phone users

Come February, if you need a SIM card, you will be asked to give your fingerprint, as the NBTC presses its much-criticised mobile banking scheme.
Come February, if you need a SIM card, you will be asked to give your fingerprint, as the NBTC presses its much-criticised mobile banking scheme.

When you buy a SIM card, you will be fingerprinted, as part of govt mobile banking scheme.


Fingerprints to be required for all mobile phone users


Komsan Tortermvasana

Starting in February, you will be fingerprinted when you buy both pre-paid and post-paid SIM cards for your mobile phone.

The idea behind the system is to use SIM cards as a sort of personal ID.

The fingerprint of the person who has the SIM card in their phone should match the fingerprint of the SIM card in the government database.

Every mobile phone owner's fingerprint will be stored in a national database maintained by the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) ,the telecommunications regulator.

No indication yet has been given on whether other government agencies will have access to this database or on measures to protect privacy.


People who already own SIM cards will only be fingerprinted voluntarily but they are being urged to participate:

"We urge all mobile users to participate in the system to ensure greater security of the mobile banking channel and prevent the risk of fraud, which is likely to increase in a cashless society," said NBTC secretary-general Takorn Tantasith.

Beginning next February, fingerprint verification will be needed for mobile SIM card registration. (Photo by Srisamorn Phoosupanusorn)


Mobile banking is on the rise in Thailand and becoming more popular.

Mobile banking allows customers to conduct some financial transactions remotely using any mobile device, with no bank account required.

The service is provided by banks and other financial institutions as well as mobile operators.

Thailand currently has 103 million mobile subscribers, 14 million of whom use mobile banking services.


Mobile operators will develop an application that verifies customers' fingerprints.

There will be verification that a person using a SIM card is the same person as the person who bought the SIM card.

Casual switching of SIM cards between family members or friends, as some people typically do, may now pose problems.


While mobile banking is rising in popularity, fraud and other criminal acts targeting telecommunication networks are also becoming increasingly sophisticated.

The regulator NBTC's concern over fraud follows several cases of fraud committed through mobile banking apps over the past several months.

The NBTC's telecom committee approved the plan to use a fingerprint registration system in September.

Mr Takorn said the NBTC adopted the fingerprint system which was developed by the Engineering Faculty of Kasetsart University.

The school won an auction held by the NBTC this month offering to supply the system for 15 million baht.


The new fingerprint systems would allegedly not create a financial burden on mobile operators.

The investment in a fingerprint system can be deducted as a business expense from the universal service obligation (USO) fee operators pay annually to the NBTC.

Telecom operators have to share 5% of their total revenue with the NBTC.

Of the total, 3.5% is paid for the USO fee and the remaining 1.25% goes to the licensing fee.

The purpose of the universal service obligation (USO) fees is to make mobile phone services available universally, especially in low-income and rural areas.

How deductions for fingerprint systems furthers those goals was not explained.

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  • access: having the opportunity to have or use something - มีโอกาสในการใช้
  • account: bank account; money kept in a bank - บัญชี
  • act: an action - การกระทำ
  • adopt: to accept or to start using something new - นำมาใช้
  • application (app): a program designed to do a particular job; a piece of software - โปรแกรมใช้งาน, โปรแกรมคอมพิวเตอร์
  • auction: a usually public sale of goods or property, where people make higher and higher bids (= offers of money) for each thing, until the thing is sold to the person who will pay most - การขายโดยการประมูล, การขายทอดตลาด
  • burden: a serious or difficult responsibility that you have to deal with - ภาระ
  • cash: money - เงินสด
  • casual: relaxed and informal - ตามอารมณ์,ไม่เป็นทางการ,ธรรมดา
  • channel (noun): a method for doing something - วิธีการ, ช่องทาง
  • commit: to do something wrong or illegal - ทำความผิด
  • committee: a group of people who are chosen, usually by a larger group, to make decisions or to deal with a particular subject - คณะกรรมการ
  • concern: a worry - ความกังวล
  • criminal: illegal; against the law - ผิดกฎหมาย, นอกกฎหมาย
  • currently: at this time; now - ในปัจจุบัน
  • database: a large amount of information stored in a computer in an organised way - ฐานข้อมูล
  • deduct: to take away an amount or part from a total - หักออก
  • device (noun): a machine or piece of equipment that does a particular job - อุปกรณ์ เครื่องมือ เครื่องจักร
  • engineering (noun): the activity of applying scientific knowledge to the design, building and control of machines, roads, bridges, electrical equipment, etc - วิศวกรรมศาสตร์
  • ensure: to make certain that something happens or is done - ให้การยืนยัน, รับรอง, ให้ความมั่นใจ
  • expenses: money spent in doing a particular job, or for a particular purpose - ค่าใช้จ่าย
  • faculty: a group of departments in a college or university which specialise in a particular subject or group of subjects - คณะ
  • financial: involving money - เกี่ยวกับเงิน, ทางการเงิน
  • financial transactions: dealings involving money -
  • fingerprint: a mark that you leave on something when you touch it, showing the pattern of lines on the skin of your fingers - รอยนิ้วมือ
  • fraud: something (or someone) that deceives people by not being what it seems to be; bogus - ไม่แท้ การโกง การหลอกลวง
  • indication: a sign that something happened, is true or exists - เครื่องบ่งชี้
  • maintain: to keep - รักษา
  • measure: a firm action taken to solve a problem or stop a dangerous unpleasant situation - มาตราการ
  • National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC): the independent government agency which oversees and regulates the Thai telecoms and broadcasting industry - สำนักงานคณะกรรมการกิจการกระจายเสียง กิจการโทรทัศน์และกิจการโทรคมนาคมแห่งชาติ
  • network: a large system of connected parts, organisations, people, etc. - เครือข่าย
  • obligations: things you must do; duties - หน้าที่ที่พึงกระทำ
  • participate: to take part in or become involved in an activity - มีส่วน
  • personal: your own; not belonging to or connected with anyone else - เป็นส่วนตัว
  • popularity: a situation in which someone or something is liked by many people - ความเป็นที่นิยม, ความเป็นที่ชื่นชอบ
  • pose a problem: to be a possible difficulty or danger - กระทำการซึ่งอาจก่อให้เกิดปัญหาต่อ
  • post-: after something happens .... -
  • pre-: before -
  • prevent (verb): to stop somebody from doing something; to stop something from happening - ขัดขวาง, ป้องกัน, กัน, กีดขวาง
  • privacy: the freedom to do things without other people watching you or knowing what you are doing - ความเป็นส่วนตัว
  • remotely: from a distance -
  • require: to make somebody do or have something, especially because it is necessary according to a particular law or set of rules - บังคับใช้ (กฎหมาย) กำหนด
  • risk: the possibility that something dangerous or unpleasant might happen - ความเสี่ยง
  • secretary-general (noun): the person who is in charge of the department that deals with the running of a large international or political organisation - เลขาธิการ, เลขาธิการใหญ่
  • security: protection; safety from attack, harm, or damage - ความมั่นคง, ระบบรักษาความปลอดภั, ความปลอดภัย
  • society (noun): people in general, living together in communities - สังคม
  • sophisticated: complicated and advanced in design or planning - ซับซ้อน
  • sort of: to some extent but not completely - ทำนองนั้น
  • store: to put and keep things in a special place for use in the future - เก็บ
  • subscriber: someone who pays money to an organization in order to receive a product, use a service regularly or support the organisation - ผู้ใช้บริการ
  • supply: to provide somebody/something with something that they need or want, especially in large quantities - จัดหาให้, จัดส่งให้
  • switch: to change - เปลี่ยน
  • target: to deliberately try to attack someone or something - ตั้งเป็นเป้าหมาย
  • telecommunications: the science and technology of sending information by telephone, radio, or television - โทรคมนาคม
  • transaction: a business dealing - การติดต่อทางธุรกิจ
  • typically: usually; normally - อย่างเป็นแบบฉบับ
  • urge: to advise someone very strongly about what action or attitude they should take - ผลักดัน, กระตุ้น
  • verification: the process of checking that something is true or accurate - การพิสูจน์ความจริง, การตรวจสอบความเป็นจริง
  • voluntarily: done because you choose to do it rather than because you have to - ด้วยความสมัครใจ
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