Telcos Planning to Rollout New Digital Verification Method for Subscriber Addition by November 20

Telecom operators have sought time till November 20 to implement the new digital system for subscriber registration and verification in place of the Aadhaar-based system. “…in order to ensure proper implementation and cause no inconvenience to the customers, we request that an additional period of 15 days, till November 20, 2018, be granted for the implementation of the new digital process,” COAI Director General Rajan S Mathews said in a letter to Telecom Secretary Aruna Sundararajan on Wednesday.

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The industry body has sought permission to continue with the existing Aadhaar-based electronic Know Your Customer (e-KYC) process. The government on October 26 ordered telecom companies to stop using Aadhaar for electronic verification of existing mobile phone customers as well as for issuing new connections to comply with a recent Supreme Court order.

The apex court had in a landmark verdict restricted the use of Aadhaar by private entities in the absence of a legal provision.

The Department of Telecom (DoT) noted that the industry had suggested an alternate digital process for KYC of mobile subscribers which entails Customer Acquisition Forms to be embedded with live photo of the subscriber and scanned images of proof of identity and proof of address, thereby digitising the end-to-end process for on-boarding of new mobile subscribers and making it paperless.

Accordingly, all telecom service providers have been asked by DoT to ensure the readiness of their systems and offer the proof of concept of the proposed digital process by November 5 for approval.

“We submit that the implementation of the digital process, including the stabilisation of the same, is likely to take some more time considering that the process needs to be implemented across millions of retailers points…You will appreciate that any new process when implemented, is likely to encounter challenges…,” Mathews said.

The telecom department said the operators could use physical Aadhaar card in offline mode for giving new connections if the customer gives it voluntarily.

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