Telecom Companies Stand For QR Code Verification Method, Claim Equal Efficiency as Aadhaar

Telecom operators have expressed reluctance towards the readoption of the Aadhaar-based verification method saying that the new QR based verification technology is equally efficient and takes the same amount of time as the verification from the 12-digit identity number. The telecom operators have also said that the Aadhaar based verification method will also not benefit their customer acquisition, reported ET Telecom.

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Supreme Court Ruled Aadhaar Authentication for Private Telcos

A senior executive in one of the major telecom operators of India said, “The Bill is yet to be passed in the Parliament and this provision may come in the future. However, acquiring customers using the QR codes as per the telecom department’s orders is very efficient, and even if Aadhaar makes a comeback, the number of subscriber additions may not vary much.”

The executive made his comments on the recently amended communication and money laundering laws which were discussed after the Supreme Court ruling relating to Aadhaar and privacy. Going by the new amendments to the Telegraph Act and the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) consumers will be able to use the 12-digit biometric ID for obtaining mobile numbers or opening bank accounts. According to the report, the amendments are expected to be introduced in the ongoing winter session of the Parliament.

Rajan Matthews, Director General of Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) also said, “Bringing back Aadhaar will only help if one gets access to the database because that will give telcos an additional level of security. Without that, this decision does not affect operators at all.”

QR Code Verification More Economically Efficient for Telcos

Another executive from a leading telecom operator said that while accessing Aadhaar data requires an investment of 60 lakh every year, there is no such investment needed in generating QR code thus making it a much more financially efficient verification method. The executive also argued that the Aadhaar in comparison is an expensive way of customer acquisition.

Two months back, right after the Supreme Court passed an order related to this rule, the Department of Telecommunications stopped the telecom operators from using Aadhaar based digital authentication. This move came as a shocker to Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio Infocomm and Vodafone Idea who were using Aadhaar as a quick means for customer acquisition. Citing an absence of a legal provision, the Supreme Court had put a hold on use of Aadhaar authentication by private entities.

It was later when the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) came up with a new verification method; then telcos could cross-check data via a combination of physical identity proof and QR codes. Even the retailers agreed to the opinions voiced by the telecom operators that sparing the initial resistance in adoption the new method of authentication became smooth and subscribers followed new rules without any hassle or complaints.

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Arpit spends his day closely following the telecom and tech industry. A music connoisseur and a night owl, he also takes a deep interest in the Indian technology start-up scene and spends rest of his time spilling poetry and stories on paper.

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dragonmonkSC-KPA (Kolkata circle)KGF (Kolar Gold Fields) | Dec 21PrithviPriyansh Singh Recent comment authors
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Prithvi
Prithvi

TT can publish QR Code methodology whenever they get their hands on it. So, if the amendment comes into play after this winter session, there’ll be 3 types of verification methods available: QR Code, physical docs + after winter session Aadhaar verification too ? If QR Code works best for both consumers & telcos, then QR Code should suffice.

Priyansh Singh
Priyansh Singh

This means that E-KYC based authentication has been scrapped fully and no matter what amendment is made, one cannot have that feature back?
But that mitigated the fake connections. Ohh, no one gives a damn about it. OK, I understood that very well.

dragonmonk
dragonmonk

@priyansh Where is the supporting data that using Aadhaar mitigated fake connections? How is every country in the world able to avoid fake connections without using Aadhaar-like system?

KGF (Kolar Gold Fields) | Dec 21
KGF (Kolar Gold Fields) | Dec 21

Chinese guy, there are tons of fake connections all over the world in every country. Which planet are you living in?

SC-KPA (Kolkata circle)
SC-KPA (Kolkata circle)

@dragonmonk: I would like to share my experience with Aadhar E-Kyc process. Last year when I tried to port in my vodafone number to airtel in same circle prepaid, 3 times my port in request was unsuccessful. Lastly I mailed to appellate authority asking the reason about rejection. Then they called me and informed me that I have more than 9 airtel active connections on my documents. As per my written request they informed me that 17 connections are running on my ID which are totally out of my knowledge. That’s why port in request was unsuccessful every time. Now… Read more »

dragonmonk
dragonmonk

@SC-KPA There are bad actors in every sector and field misusing even the best process. They even caught a guy in Telangana who was misusing Aadhar to get fake mobile connections. The solution is not to come up with a new ID card, new process every time. The solution is to enforce existing laws strictly and punish people who misuse it as per the law.

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