e-KYC process

New e-KYC process proposed by Telcos to replace Aadhaar

Following the Supreme Court’s decision where it was concluded that it isn’t compulsory to link bank accounts or mobile numbers with Aadhaar, Telecom operators have approached the Department of Telecom (DoT) with a new e-KYC process. According to a report by PTI, the Telcos are seeking approval from DoT for this new e-KYC process which will act as an alternative to Aadhaar-based verification.

The Apex Advisory Council for Telecom in India (ACT) said in a letter to the DoT, “We are proposing minor modifications to the DoT guidelines…allowing consumer application form (CAF) to be embedded with photograph and scanned images thereby digitise the end to end process for on boarding of new subscribers by making it completely paperless”.

The letter dated October 5 said that to go back to paper based processes will reverse the steps taken by the industry towards a digital India and would result in wastage of existing investments and infrastructure, hence shouldn’t be considered.

According to the report, the Apex Advisory Council for Telecom (ACT) which includes industry body COAI and other telecom operators, has proposed an app-based customer enrollment method in which photograph of customer will be clicked by the SIM seller and embedded in the form along with self-attested copy of any identity and address proof. After this, the form will be stamped with the watermark of the company, the name of the retailer, circle as well as date and time of the transaction—so that the images cannot be reused.

According to the letter signed by Cellular Operators Association of India Director General Rajan S Mathews suggested that this consumer application form will be digitally filled on the app where the retailer will make the required declaration, after which the customer will receive OTP on his alternate number and the seller will receive one-time password (OTP).

The letter said, “OTP shall be entered and validated, upon successful OTP validation, it shall be treated as customer signature.”

This customer validation form (CAF) after being validated will be sent to the system of telecom operator for verification of the form, identity and address proof; and after successful verification, the number assigned to the subscriber will be ready for tele-verification.

“This step is crucial to limit any liability on the telecom service providers(TSPs) since PoS may enter inappropriate values and without validation the number can get into tele-verification or activation stage,” the letter said.

The ACT recommends that as an additional security barrier, the system will also verify that the geotag of customer’s picture and final submission of request by sale point is not more than 50 metres away. This way, the Telecom Service Provider will generate and send a five digit pin to an alternate number provided by the customer.

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