The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has allowed the telecom giant Airtel Indian to use Aadhar card for eKYC of mobile numbers under strict terms and conditions. UIDAI allowed Airtel for eKYC of mobile subscribers to facilitate the linking of mobile numbers with Aadhaar as per the government’s order. Earlier the deadline for linking mobile numbers with Aadhar was February 6 which is now extended to March 31 by the Supreme Court.
UIDAI has suspended the e-KYC license of Airtel Payments Bank which has not been revoked. The Airtel Payments Bank is not allowed by UIDAI to use e-KYC license and it shall not be activated till further notice.
How Airtel used Aadhar for Airtel Payments Bank Verification
Airtel got the reprieve after it paid the amount of Rs.138 crore into the accounts of 55.63 lakh customer as Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT). The Unique Identification Authority of India has asked the RBI and Telecom Department for auditing the company’s systems, applications, processes and documents. The auditing process will be conducted to ensure that the company is complying with its license conditions.
UIDAI has asked Airtel to send messages to its customers that their DBT accounts have been reversed to original designated bank accounts. Moreover, Airtel will have to inform the customers that the DBT received in their Airtel Payments Bank account has been reverted to their designated bank accounts.
UIDAI allows Airtel to use Aadhar for Mobile Numbers Verification Only
The UIDAI says that Airtel is allowed to use e-KYC and authentication only for re-verification of mobile numbers and for new sim cards. Any telecom company is not allowed to use e-KYC to open bank accounts, e-wallets, DTH services, or any other goods and services. UIDAI has passed the interim order considering the Supreme Court’s deadline for linking Aadhar and the convenience of customers.
Earlier in September, UIDAI received complaints from Airtel customers for opening Payments Bank accounts without their consent. The LPG subsidies worth crores of Rupees were credited into these accounts without the knowledge of account holders. Last week, UIDAI temporarily suspended the Airtel’s license for conducting Aadhaar based verification using e-KYC process for mobile numbers and Airtel Payments Bank. However, Airtel is now allowed to use e-KYC for verification of mobile numbers only.