Telecom operators, including Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio and Vodafone Idea Ltd, have informed the telecom department about their readiness to conduct proof of concept for the new ‘alternate digital KYC process’ at two locations, as stipulated. The Department of Telecom (DoT) has also issued the details of the procedure and modalities to be followed by telecom operators for issuing new mobile connections using the alternate digital KYC process.
According to a DoT circular dated November 6, Bharti Airtel has ensured “readiness to conduct PoC (proof of concept)” in Delhi and Meerut, while Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) has identified two locations in Telangana for the same. “The proof of concept of the….alternate digital KYC process is to be done at two locations (rural and urban) by each licensee,” DoT said, according to PTI.
Reliance Jio Infocomm has ensured its readiness to conduct PoC at two locations in Navi Mumbai, while Vodafone Idea Ltd has listed Delhi and Baramati in Pune District, according to the DoT. Other operators like Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL) and Tata Teleservices have also identified locations for the POC.
As per the alternate digital KYC process proposed by the telecom industry for issuing new mobile connections, the customer acquisition form is to be embedded with live photograph of subscriber along with original proof of identification (PoI) and proof of address (PoA) document — digitising the end-to-end process for on-boarding of new mobile subscribers by making it completely paperless.
Spelling out the nuances of the alternate digital KYC procedure to be followed by telecom service providers, DoT said only two mobile connections would be provided per day per PoI, PoA document to a customer by the operator using the alternate digital KYC process.
“… Digital KYC process is an alternative process to the existing process of issuance of mobile connections to subscribers and shall also be applicable for outstation and foreign customers,” DoT said.
It said that additional safeguards in the prevailing guidelines regarding outstation and foreign customers would also be followed in the new digital KYC process.
The Supreme Court in September restricted the use of Aadhaar authentication by private entities in the absence of a legal provision. On October 26, the telecom department asked operators to stop using Aadhaar for electronic verification of existing mobile phone customers as well as for issuing new connections to comply with the order of the apex court.
Aadhaar-issuing body, Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), has, however, clarified that service providers could use offline verification tools like eAadhaar and QR (Quick Response) code that leverage the unique identifier without authentication or any access to biometrics.