Purchasing a new SIM card comes with a few responsibilities, namely registering said SIM card with the provider.

This is because of the Regulation of Interception of Communications and Provision of Communication-related Information Act 70 of 2002 otherwise known simply as RICA.

The registration process requires a customer provides a copy of their ID as well as a physical address and traditionally you would have to submit this in-store.

Well, now that COVID-19 is around, folks are understandably hesitant to step foot into a populated store and hand paperwork around.

In a bid to address these concerns, Vodacom has said that its chatbot known as TOBi is able to assist customers who want to self-RICA a prepaid SIM card.

“We have simplified the process and further digitised the journey for our customers. This is yet another way we are driving a digital transformation journey for ourselves and for our customers. Introducing Self-RICA on our self-service platforms is our 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,” explains Vodacom’s chief officer of the Consumer Business Unit, Jorge Mendes.

Self-RICA can be completed via the My Vodacom App and it seems rather simple.

Customers will need to take a photo of their ID and then record a video with a unique PIN so as to prove they are who they say they are.

“All these identities are compared using AI and biometrics and then verified with the Department of Home Affairs,” explains Vodacom.

Once verification is complete, the SIM will be registered and customers can use the SIM as they would normally.

As mentioned, you will need the My Vodacom App to complete a self-RICA. Once you have the app simply start chatting with TOBi to self-RICA.