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.
RICA stands for the Regulation of Interception of Communications and Provision of Communication Related Information Act. It is a law passed by the South African government that requires ALL cellphone users to register their name, ID number, physical address and cellphone number in order to assist with crime detection and prevention. Vodacom is lawfully required to verify the information and RICA register every Vodacom SIM card before it can be activated.
RICA and Vodacom
Vodacom is required by law to ensure that RICA information for all Vodacom customers is always up to date. Customers may therefore receive a call or SMS requesting them to go to a Vodacom shop to update their RICA information and provide an original ID document and proof of their physical address to the RICA agent in-store. More detail will provided to you should your cell number require an update.
You may receive an SMS from Vodacom asking you to go to your nearest Vodacom Store to update your personal details. You will receive this SMS if your current RICA details are due for an update. If you do not update your details as requested, your number may be deleted as required by law.
You will need to take your original South African ID book or valid passport and proof of your address that is not older than 3 months. Your proof of address must have your name and address printed on it and can be a rates, electricity or water bill or bank statement or an account from a known company like Edgars, Jet or Ackermans. You may also use your TV License, Policy documents or get a letter or affidavit confirming your address from your municipal or community centre where you receive your post.
Now RICA with a Chatbot
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.
TOBi has been developed to allow customers quick and easy access to information and advice and is available 24/7 through the My Vodacom App. As he learns through interaction, you can expect to see him appearing in more places, being even more helpful. TOBI’s ultimate goal is to make customer interaction simpler and hassle-free.
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.
To check if your SIM card is RICA registered, simply SMS ‘RICA’ to 31050. You can also register your SIM card when you upgrade your contract.
According to Jorge Mendes, Vodacom Chief Officer Consumer Business Unit now the process have been simplified and further digitised the journey for their customers. Introducing Self-RICA on their self-service platforms is the 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. 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.
TOBi is dedicated and is available to help 24/7, no matter where you are. Forget having to go in-store and skip the call centre queues; rather chat to TOBi whenever you need assistance. TOBi is super-efficient and strives to solve your issues directly and in record time. TOBi may not be able to help you with everything and can get a human to call you back or connect you to a live agent at any point.
Ask TOBi to help you Check account balances, Airtime advance, Buy bundles, Get your PUK number, Do a SIM Swap, Access your invoices/statements and MORE!
Whether you’re a Prepaid, Top Up or Contract customer, TOBi is always online and ready to help. Chat to TOBi today on:
WhatsApp TOBi on 082 009 8624
Send TOBi an SMS on 082 009 4975