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Telephone operators propose new e-KYC process as alternative to Aadhaar verification


Telephone operators propose new e-KYC process as alternative to Aadhaar verification
Telecom operators have approached the Department of Telecom (DoT) seeking approval for a new e-KYC process as an alternative to Aadhaar-based verification. (Twitter)

Telecom operators have approached the Department of Telecom (DoT) seeking approval for a new e-KYC process as an alternative to Aadhaar-based verification.

This follows the Supreme Court order restricting the use of Aadhaar information by private companies including telcos and banks.

"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 onboarding of new subscribers by making it completely paperless," the Apex Advisory Council for Telecom in India (ACT) said in a letter to the DoT.

The return to paper-based processes should not be an option as that will reverse the steps taken by the industry towards a digital India and would result in wastage of existing investments and infrastructure, the letter dated October 5 said.

Before the apex court order, telecom operators had developed a system for instant online verification of customers using Aadhaar which resulted in quick activation of service at minimal cost.

The ACT, which includes industry body COAI and other telecom operators, has suggested an app-based customer enrolment method in which photograph of the customer will be clicked by the SIM seller and embedded in the form along with a self-attested copy of any identity and address proof.

The form will be then stamped by a watermark of the company along with retailer name, a circle where the transaction took place, date and time so that the images cannot be re-used.

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

"OTP shall be entered and validated, upon successful OTP validation, it shall be treated as customer signature," the letter said.

Following validation, the app will send consumer application form (CAF) 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.

As an additional safeguard, the system will also verify that the geotag of customer's picture and final submission of a request by sale point is not more than 50 metres away, the ACT suggested.

The TSP will generate and send a five digit pin to an alternate number provided by the customer.

The number will be activated after a customer completes tele-verification by either entering PIN number send to him or last 4 digits of identity proof during the call, the ACT suggested.

(With inputs from agencies.)

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