Switching from pre-paid to post-paid mobile plan without KYC; telecom firms seek govt waiver

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Updated: Apr 14, 2020 11:13 AM

As companies urge telecoms to convert pre-paid connections of their employees, who are working from home, to post-paid ones, telecoms seek waiver to switch accounts without the need of KYC.

Around 95% of the country’s 1.15 billion mobile subscriber base is in the pre-paid segment.Around 95% of the country’s 1.15 billion mobile subscriber base is in the pre-paid segment.

Telecom operators have urged the department of telecommunications (DoT) to allow them to convert pre-paid subscribers into post-paid ones without having to go through the KYC process. According to the telcos, such a step at a time like this will benefit lakhs of working professionals across the country as well as those who are not able to recharge their accounts due to closure of offline stores during the lockdown.

The plea by operators has come after many companies approached them for converting the pre-paid connections of their employees, who are working from home into post-paid ones. Earlier most of these employees didn’t need post-paid connections as most of the work used to happen in the office using office Internet connection. During work from home a post-paid connection comes in more handy because of higher data offering and no hassle of running out in the middle of the billing cycle.

The telecom operators can convert pre-paid subscriber into post-paid but as per current rules, they have to undertake a fresh KYC (know your customer) exercise, which means all the documents have to be submitted again. In a way, it is like issuing a new mobile connection. In the current circumstances, it is not possible to do the KYC exercise and that is why the operators have urged the DoT to let them convert subscribers based on the existing KYC. “We did the KYC when a customer took a pre-paid connection. Now if DoT allows, we can convert the customer to post-paid and keep the existing documents for KYC. We just need to change the same in the customer acquisition form (CAF) that the customer in now post-paid, which can be done at back-end,” said an executive with one of the telecom companies.

Around 95% of the country’s 1.15 billion mobile subscriber base is in the pre-paid segment.

According to an executive of a telecom firm, the operators can judge the creditworthiness of a pre-paid subscriber by the usage pattern which they have. “We have various kind of data about a customer like usage, value of recharges, time interval between recharges etc, which comes handy while deciding the risk profile,” the executive said.

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