LPG Subsidy fiasco: Airtel Payments Bank gets RBI, UIDAI nod to resume taking new customers

A payments bank is like any other bank but operates on a smaller scale without involving any credit risk.

Published: 12th July 2018 02:20 PM  |   Last Updated: 13th July 2018 07:03 AM   |  A+A-

The Bharti Airtel office building. (File Photo | Reuters)

The Bharti Airtel office building. (File Photo | Reuters)

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: Airtel Payments Bank on Thursday said banking regulator Reserve Bank of India has lifted the suspension imposed on it last month and allowed the company to add new customers.

The new-age bank also regained green signal from the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) to use the 12-digit Aadhaar-based e-KYC for its customers.

“Airtel Payments Bank has received requisite approvals from the Reserve Bank of India to start on-boarding new customers. Airtel Payments Bank has also been permitted by the UIDAI to resume the on-boarding of customers using Aadhaar-based e-KYC,” the company said in a statement.

The ban was in response to an investigation that the telecom operator’s banking arm had misused its authority, signing new customers without seeking their ‘specific or clear consent.’ It was also alleged that the company opened payments bank accounts for its mobile subscribers without their consent and that over 23 lakh of them reportedly received about Rs 47 crore in their Airtel bank accounts towards LPG subsidy.

Airtel denied any wrong-doing, while UIDAI temporarily barred the company from conducting Aadhaar-linked e-KYC verification. Subsequently, the RBI imposed a monetary penalty of Rs 5 crore, besides restricting Airtel Payments Bank from registering new customers until further notice.

Both Bharti Airtel and Airtel Payments Bank were appointed as Authentication User Agencies by UIDAI and had entered into an agreement with UIDAI in February 2015 and September 2016 respectively for the purposes of availing authentication services provided by the authority.

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