Bharti Airtel, on Thursday, said that the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has allowed India’s leading telco to resume Aadhaar-based eKYC verification for its telecom subscribers till January 10. However, the UIDAI has maintained its ‘suspension’ order on the telco’s payments bank, Airtel Payments Bank, and it will take a view on the issue after it receives a report from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the telecom department on January 10.
“Further to our statement dated December 16, 2017, we would like to confirm that the UIDAI has allowed Bharti Airtel to resume Aadhaar based e-KYC services. We continue to engage with the authorities,” an Airtel spokesperson said.
Airtel, however, can use the e-KYC and authentication service only for re-verification and issuance of SIM cards. It will not be allowed to use eKYC for obtaining the consent of the Aadhaar holder for opening bank accounts, wallet, DTH or any other goods or services.
A source told PTI that Airtel had received a “temporary reprieve with conditions after Rs 138 crore Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) was repaid into 55.63 lakh original accounts of its customers.”
The report added that the interim order has been passed by the UIDAI keeping in view convenience of customers and also the looming March 31 deadline given by the Supreme Court for mobile SIM re-verification.
The RBI and the telecom department have been asked by the UIDAI to conduct an audit of systems, processes, applications, documentation followed by Bharti Airtel to ensure that the company is in compliance with their license conditions.
Airtel and its payments bank had allegedly opened accounts of its mobile phone subscribers without seeking their informed consent, and LPG subsidy worth crores were deposited into these accounts. Following this, the UIDAI had temporarily barred the company from conducting Aadhaar-based SIM verification of mobile customers using eKYC process, and e-KYC of payments bank clients.