Aadhaar card is now a crucial thing to have in India, especially with they way the government has made it mandatory in several of sectors and services. Having an Aadhaar number is not only necessary for establishing your identity to avail schemes but also in financial matters like bank accounts and filing taxes. Even mobile phone service users will now have to verify using Aadhaar numbers, as the telcos, in March, had been instructed to start the process. The Department of Telecom’s order said: “All licensees shall re-verify all existing mobile subscribers (prepaid and postpaid) through an Aadhaar-based e-KYC process.” There is now, one years’ time, until February 6, 2018, for the completion of this eKYC process. Even the Supreme Court had issued an order regarding this issue back in February. This essentially means that be it now or later, users will have to link their current valid mobile number to Aadhaar if they wish to keep availing network services. Here are a few things you should know about the whole process.
What is the Aadhaar based eKYC exactly? Whether you wish to keep your old mobile number or get a new one, you are needed to verify it using your Aadhaar Card number. eKYC is basically an online method of the usual “Know Your Customer” form. Let alone your banks, now even your network service provider should have your information, such as your name, DOB, address, age etc. (Cellular Operators’ Association of India) COAI had earlier pointed out the whole exercise will cost Rs 1,000 crore for infrastructure and training, which will have to be borne by the operators themselves. COAI Director General Rajan Mathews had said in a statement, “The issue of fake subscribers will go away. We will try our best to cover the entire base within the stipulated time frame of one year.”
What needs to be done? In the case of Aadhaar based KYC, your name, location and other details need to be verified through the Aadhaar authentication online. You will have to provide your Aadhaar number and do the biometric verification in order to complete the KYC. After the eKYC process has been completed, before updating or overwriting the old subscriber detail in the database with the data received through the eKYC process, the licensee will seek confirmation from the subscriber about the re-verification of his/her mobile number after 24 hours through SMS.
What is the exact process? There are two possible cases when it comes to looking for linking your mobile number to Aadhaar. The first scenario would be if you are linking for the first time. In this case, the verification can only be done through an offline channel. You will have to visit your nearest Aadhaar centre to get the Aadhar Update/Correction Form or download it from the UIDAI website. Fill out the form and submit it at an Aadhaar centre. You will also be needed to submit your Aadhaar Card photocopy as well as of an identification proof like voter’s card or driver’s licence. After this, your biometrics (thumb impression) will have to be verified at the centre. This will be used to match it with the biometrics recorded while applying for the Aadhaar card.
In the second scenario, a user might want to update his/her Aadhaar data if they changed a mobile number. This process can be completed offline, however, one must make sure that the previous number is with you, a One-Time-Password (OTP) will be sent to that number. In order to verify your current number, go to the UIDAI website. Within the website, you will find an option called as ‘Aadhaar Update’ and under this, you will see a portal called ‘Aadhar Self-Service’. Here you will have to follow the instructions, and you then you can enter your new number. This number will be updated in the records, one you confirm it through the OTP.
You may like to watch the Mobile number-Aadhaar card link process here:
When do you need to get the eKYC done with your network provider? It is not urgent as of now, but once your start receiving alerts, you should complete the process immediately. There will be advertisements on newspapers and televisions when the eKYC needs to be done. This is because network providers will be compelled to do so, after the directive by the government.
If you want another number from the same telecom company, will your first eKYC be enough? Sadly, the answer is no. According to the notification issued by DoT, in order to issue additional mobile connections to a re-verified subscriber, the operator would have to follow a separate eKYC process. This means that if you have an Airtel or Idea connection, and you get it re-verified too, you will still have to do another eKYC in order to get the second number from them. This is a very long and hard process to complete each time. At least you can convert your number from pre-paid to post-paid without doing the eKYC again.
Who will be affected by this decision? With a population of more than a billion, in a developing country like India, there is a huge number of people who use mobiles. But a large portion of that population still does not have an Aadhaar card who will not be able to continue using phones. This means that each and every user will be affected by this.