Telecom operator Bharti Airtel Monday began rolling out, in select circles, an ‘alternate digital KYC process’ for new connections, to replace Aadhaar-based electronic verification, a company official said. The alternate digital KYC process has begun with select circles including Delhi, UP (East) and UP (West) and will be extended to other locations in the coming days, the official privy to the development told PTI.
The alternate digital process for KYC entails scanning of the proof of address and identity, embedding live customer photo and online customer acquisition form, the source said adding that the entire process will be digital. The official further pointed out that the company will be phasing out the eKYC process, as the digital KYC system is rolled out to new locations, and stablises.
An email sent to Bharti Airtel in this regard remained unanswered. When contacted, a Vodafone Idea Ltd spokesperson confirmed that a new digital KYC process has been launched for onboarding customers across Vodafone and Idea brands but did not immediately offer specific details.
On October 26, the telecom department had asked operators 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, last month, in a landmark verdict restricted the use of Aadhaar by private entities in the absence of a legal provision.
The Department of Telecom (DoT) in its October 26 circular had also taken note of the fact that the industry mooted an alternate process for KYC (know your customer) which entailed 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 were asked by the DoT to ensure readiness of their systems and offer the proof of concept of the proposed digital process by November 5 for approval. The DoT had issued detailed instructions to telecom companies on stopping the use of Aadhaar-based e-KYC and report compliance by November 5.