KYC for telecom operations: a biometric approach

Paris, December 18, 2023



  1. A challenge for telecom operators
  2. Implementing biometry as an effective KYC system
  3. Famoco KYC expertise
  4. FAQ



The GMSA State of Mobile Internet Connectivity Report 2023 states that 57% of people worldwide use mobile internet. Whether for managing bank accounts or social networks, the widespread use of mobile phones has drastically increased the personal information sharing online. Thus, it has led to a high number of identity theft and financial crimes, forcing the authorities to ask companies in the sector to strengthen the level of security around the use of mobile Internet, in particular thanks to what is called Know Your Customers (KYC) procedures.

A challenge for telecom operators


In the telecommunications sector in particular, robust Know Your Customer (KYC) procedures are essential to control and verify users’ identity and ensure the security of mobile services. According to current regulations, operators must comply with KYC protocols to register and authenticate their customers when purchasing or activating SIM cards, prepaid or not. It aims to prevent potential risks associated with criminal activities, financial fraud, and terrorism financing. Also, operators have the responsibility to opt for a highly secure KYC system to protect the sensitive personal data they process.


Today, a simple visual check of identity documents is enough to buy or top up SIM cards and make mobile payments. These traditional KYC verification methods are both tedious and error-prone. However, the authorities do not hesitate to deactivate users whose identity has not been fully or correctly verified. Therefore, it is crucial to use smart and robust verification methods to ensure regulatory compliance and maintain the best possible customer experience.



Implementing biometry as an effective KYC system


To avoid these stringent measures, telecom regulators encourage operators to authenticate customers using physical identity proofs like fingerprints or facial recognition. Investing in biometric KYC processes is a promising strategy for operators to avoid significant penalties and provides a secure, simple and accurate way to verify customers’ identities.


In Africa, the implementation of biometric authentication systems is especially advantageous. In fact, operators gather biometric data and establish unique digital identities for users, further providing them to governments for population census. Biometric KYC indirectly aids in the economic and social development of emerging countries, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa.



Famoco KYC expertise


With its great KYC expertise, Famoco offers a complete solution that enables field agents to effectively conduct KYC checks. We provide specialized biometric devices, designed to identify, authenticate, and enroll customers swiftly and securely.


Famoco’s mobile devices feature an FBI-certified Idemia fingerprint sensor, specially designed for live detection of fraudulent activities with a high level of accuracy. Famoco directly integrates the biometric module into its devices to make them compact and robust for the field.


When it comes to biometry, security is a priority. These devices ensure a real time authentication and enrolment system for SIM card beneficiaries registration while safeguarding their identity and biometric data. Indeed, Famoco uses its own Android Operating System to fully secure customers’ data.


Additionally, with Famoco OS, devices have no street value as they can only be activated and managed through the Famoco MDM (Mobile Device Management) platform. It empowers fleet administrators to strictly control configurations and applications on the devices, addressing concerns about theft, non-professional use, and preventing unauthorized access. The MDM also enables users to get insights on how the devices are used on the field, such as activity duration or device location for example.


Famoco’s unique approach and tailored solutions help telecom companies effectively manage KYC challenges and stay competitive in the market.



What does “No Street Value” mean?

The ‘no street value’ concept refers to devices or products that have little to no resale value on the open market. This is often due to specific design features that limit their functionality to authorized users only. For Famoco devices, this concept applies because they can only be configured and fully utilized through the Famoco MDM platform. This specialized setup makes them less appealing for unauthorized use or resale, essentially reducing their street value to none.


What are the main advantages of using an MDM?

A Mobile Device Management (MDM) system primarily offers centralized control and management of mobile devices within an organization. Key benefits include enhanced security through controlled app distribution and device settings, streamlined deployment and maintenance of devices, and the ability to monitor and track device usage and location. It simplifies IT management tasks, ensures data protection, and can enforce policy compliance across all managed devices, making it essential for organizations looking to efficiently manage a fleet of mobile devices. Find more about Famoco MDM!


Is Famoco OS fully secured?

Yes, Famoco OS is a fully secured operating system. It is a proprietary, private version of the Android system, designed to enhance data security. Famoco OS restricts third-party app downloads, allowing only essential applications to ensure a secure and controlled environment for enterprise use. This contrasts with a typical open-source Android operating system, which is more customizable and accessible for developers, but may not have the same level of built-in security and control for enterprise-specific applications. Famoco’s approach offers an additional layer of security for businesses requiring tight control over their device ecosystems.


Which Famoco devices can I use for KYC, and where can I find more information about them?

Famoco offers a range of devices tailored for various operational needs. Famoco biometric devices are the FP200, FP201, and FP202, each designed for specific tasks like identification worldwide. For detailed information and specifications, you can visit their product pages:



Can I use the KYC system for other use cases?

Yes, Famoco’s KYC system is versatile and can be applied in various industries, including banking, healthcare, and government services for identity verification and data security.

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