Telecom companies are worried over shift from eKYC to manual verification.
New Delhi: After the Supreme Court banning the use of e-KYC for mobile connections, the telecom department (DoT) on Thursday formally notified telecom companies about the discontinuation of e-Aadhaar based customer registration.
This means that customers would no longer be able to activate their new SIM cards within minutes as was done through Aadhaar authentication system using biometrics.
“We will meet the officials of UIDAI, law ministry and telecom service providers (TSPs) to make sure that we are in compliance with the Supreme Court order and to find out a way forward,” said telecom secretary Aruna Sundararajan.
The Supreme Court while holding Aadhaar scheme as constitutionally valid struck down section 57 of the Aadhaar Act, permitting private entities to avail Aadhaar data.
Mobile service providers and other private entities cannot ask for Aadhaar for the customer registration.
Owing to its convenience, telecom operators had completely moved to Aadhaar-based verification but now they have to change their system.
A senior official from telecom department said that the department will come out with an alternative method for digital verification e-KYC if it cannot be done through Aadhaar. Otherwise, telecom operators will have to go back to the old method of subscriber registration through manual submission of documents for KYC verification.
“We will have to see if telecom operators need to go back to old method of subscriber registration or their can be other way for eKYC,” the officer said.
According to an official, the cost of acquiring a customer using eKYC was `15 per person compared to `100 for registering a customer using a physical KYC documents.
Using Aadhaar, the telecom operators could verify customers within minutes, which brought down the cost of acquisition of new customer. The Aadhaar-based system has also reduced the risk of fake documents for registration. Before the Aadhaar-based authentication was introduced, there were several cases of criminals taking mobile connections using fake identities.
The government had made Aadhaar-based customer authentication mandatory due to security angle. In Delhi alone, a few hundred of SIM cards were issued in the name of a single person without him or her.
For a person using e-KYC, he could get their phones activated immediately (instead of calling call centres) and without any hassles of taking photocopies of ID address proofs and photograph.