Mule accounts targeted, new mobile banking curbs
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Mule accounts targeted, new mobile banking curbs

The telecom regulator says access to mobile banking accounts where the names of the account holders and phone subscribers are different will require case-by-case permission, as a clampdown begins on the use of mule accounts by fraudsters.

The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission said on Monday the government had a policy to stop banking service access from mobile phones that were not registered in the name the mobile bank account holder.

The policy was intended to stop the use of mule accounts by scammers and became effective on Monday.

However, banks could permit mobile banking account access on a case-by-case basis, for example in the event people subscribed to mobile phone services for young or elderly relatives.

The telecom regulator said it would meet mobile phone operators to discuss easy procedures for such case-by-case permission.

According to the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society, there are about 106 million mobile banking accounts, about 30 million of which are not registered in the same name as their mobile phone subscribers.

The ministry estimated there were 1 million mule accounts and it planned to close 100,000 of them every  month.

Examination of the names of mobile banking account holders and mobile phone subscribers started on Monday. The names of mobile phone and mobile banking account users would be clarified within 120 days. Afterwards suspicious mobile banking service users would be disconnected.

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