Govt allows Aadhaar e-KYC for new mobile connections


Forget the bulky paperwork, you can now apply, validate and activate new pre-paid and post-paid mobile connections using your Aadhaar card and fingerprint at the point of sale.

The government today issued e-KYC guidelines to make the online process of application and authentication faster and simpler for subscribers.

In contrast to the existing document-based process, the move is intended to cut down time for SIM activation as KYC is verified instantly.

In e-KYC, a customer through her Aadhaar number and biometrics will online authorise UIDAI to provide demographic details such as name, address, date of birth and gender, along with the digitally-signed photograph, to the mobile operator.

“Digitally-signed electronic KYC data provided by UIDAI is machine readable, making it possible for licensees to directly store it as customer record in their database for the purpose of issuing a mobile connection,” a DoT notification said.

COAI Director General Rajan Mathews felt that the move will be helpful for all stakeholders as it simplifies activation, eases verification process and enhances security.

“Earlier, the entire verification process would last 8-10 hours and it will now be greatly reduced,” he hoped.

Bharti Airtel plans to start rolling out Aadhaar-based e-KYC solutions this week, MD and CEO (India and South Asia) Gopal Vittal said.

Vodafone India termed the e-KYC solution as “an instant, secure and green mobile subscriber verification project” and said all stakeholders will benefit from it.

Customers will soon be able to walk in with their Aadhaar card in any of the Vodafone stores and walk out connected within minutes, the company statement read.

“For the consumer, instant activation means better experience and security of personal confidential information. For Vodafone, it will improve quality of sales as well as regulatory compliance. For the regulator, it not only means a green initiative, but hassle-free governance and accurate audit results,” said Sunil Sood, MD and CEO, Vodafone India.

According to Hemant Joshi, Partner, Deloitte Haskins & Sells, the move will bring down the cost of subscriber acquisition significantly as telecom companies will not have to spend on physical transportation of forms, verification, scanning and storage.

“Also, it would help easier compliance and reduction in litigation on account of audit carried out by term cell,” Joshi said.

The customer keen to buy a SIM card needs to furnish the Aadhaar number before the seller who will capture biometric details – fingerprint or iris.

The system will transmit Aadhaar details to the telecom operator who will authorise the SIM seller to fill the form and verify details of the customer on the sales terminal.

The seller will have to confirm that he has seen the customer and match the photo displayed online from UIDAI before finally handing over the SIM to the buyer.

The Aadhaar interface will be used both for populating the customer acquisition form and authentication and verification of the subscriber.