UIDAI suspends Aadhaar based eKYC licence of Airtel

uidai-suspends-aadhaar-based-ekyc-licence-of-airtelUIDAI suspends Aadhaar based eKYC licence of Airtel. In its strongest action yet, the UIDAI on 16th December has temporarily barred Bharti Airtel and Airtel Payments Bank from conducting Aadhaar-based SIM verification of mobile customers using e-KYC (Electronic Know Your Customer) process as well as e-KYC of payments bank clients. The action follows allegations of Bharti Airtel using the Aadhaar-eKYC based SIM verification process to open payments bank accounts of its subscribers without their ‘informed consent’. UIDAI also took strong objection to allegations that such payments bank accounts are being linked to receive LPG subsidy.
The UIDAI has reportedly been investigating Bharti Airtel for violations of the Aadhaar Act for over a month now, and has also sent several notices to the telco which received unsatisfactory responses. The Aadhaar authority might also consider penalising Airtel with a heavy fine for illegally using the e-KYC verification process to dupe customers into signing up for a Payments Bank account. Reports suggest that over 23 lakh Airtel customers have received as much as Rs 47 Crore in their Airtel Payments Bank accounts, the existence of which was unknown to them. As a result of UIDAIā€™s action, Airtel will not be able to link any mobile SIMs with Aadhaar numbers of customers and customers will also not be able to open any new Airtel Payments Bank accounts using Aadhaar-eKYC verification. If found guilty of the practice, Bharti Airtel could be facing a fine of Rs 1 Lakh per day and a termination of its authentication user agreement with UIDAI, or worse, its Payments Bank license.

Filed in: Airtel, DoT, Mobile Services, Stock Market, Telecom News, Telecom Operators Tags: , , ,

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