NEW DELHI: As the deadline for phasing out the use of Aadhaar in the e-KYC (know your customer) process for activating the SIM card is approaching, more and more telecom players are rolling out alternatives.
On Thursday, state-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam (BSNL) launched an alternative digital KYC process for issuing new connections across various circles. Private players, including Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel, earlier this week said that they had started rolling out the same to replace the Aadhaar-based electronic verification process.
"We have conveyed to DoT that we have launched the new system across all our circles and it has stabilised," said the Chairman and MD of BSNL, Anupam Shrivastava. Officials at telcos also confirmed that the alternative e-KYC entailed scanning of the proof of address and identity, embedding a customer photo and the online customer acquisition form.
"It will be a paperless process, unlike some reports which stated that telcos would go back to the manual paperwork authentication process," said an executive of a telco firm. The Department of Telecom (DoT), in a circular issued on November 6, also verified that the authentication procedure will be carried out using an authenticated application (app).
To show how the new procedure of alternative digital KYC would work and their readiness, the telecom operators will have proof of concept (PoC) events at two locations- one urban and one rural.
Reliance Jio Infocomm has ensured its readiness to conduct PoC at two locations in Navi Mumbai, while Vodafone Idea Ltd has listed Delhi and Baramati in Pune district. Airtel will conduct the same in Delhi and Meerut. Based on the POC results, DoT will issue further directions for any change in the system, if required.
On October 26, DoT 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 which restricted the use of Aadhaar by private entities in the absence of a legal provision.
DoT had asked operators to report alternative e-KYC compliance by November 5, but operators, approached the government requesting that they be allowed to continue with Aadhaar-based eKYC process till November 20, while they implement the new digital process.