Rain is set to launch an “eRICA” process alongside its eSIM product in South Africa, as tweeted about by Michael Jordaan.
Jordaan, who is on Rain’s board, replied to a question on Twitter today about the launch of eSIMs locally – stating the following:
“Soon to be launched by Rain. Just had to develop eRICA to make it easy to buy an eSIM by simply scanning a QR code.”
RICA – the Regulation of Interception of Communications and Provision of Communication-related Information Act – requires local users to provide certain documents when buying a SIM card.
This includes their ID and a proof of address which is not more than three months old.
When buying a SIM card at a physical store, you are required to take these documents with you. When buying a SIM online, users are typically required to upload the documents to a retailer’s online portal.
When their SIM is delivered to them, they are then required to produce the physical documents to the delivery person. These documents must match the documents they submitted online.
This process is not ideal for an eSIM purchase, however.
An eSIM – embedded SIM – is a chip in a smartphone which users can activate to connect to a mobile network.
Instead of putting a physical SIM card in your smartphone, a user will scan a QR code from an operator – like Rain or Vodacom – with their phone and their eSIM will be configured to connect to the network.
If users want to switch to another network, they repeat the process with a different operator. This process will make it much easier and quicker to switch mobile networks or get connected.
The current RICA process does not lend itself to this, though, as the presentation of physical documents will slow down matters.
An “eRICA” process can solve this issue, if it allows for the entirely-electronic submission of supporting documents online.
Rain confirmed to MyBroadband that it is working hard on eRICA, which will enable users to go through the RICA process electronically.
“This will dovetail with our launch of our eSIM option, which will by definition be distributed electronically,” said Rain.
The target launch date for this is July/August, it added.