Trai proposes Aadhaar eKYC for existing mobile users too

Trai suggests subscribers may have to be given some sops in terms of free talk-time or data to encourage them to undergo the e-KYC process


eKyc is likely to eliminate use of fake SIMs. Photo: Mint
eKyc is likely to eliminate use of fake SIMs. Photo: Mint

New Delhi: Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) on Monday suggested verification of existing mobile subscribers through Aadhaar based e-KYC and said free talk-time or data could be offered by operators as incentives to facilitate the process.

In its latest recommendation to Department of Telecommunications (DoT), Trai has also proposed that Aadhaar-based e-KYC should be permitted for outstation customers at any place within the service area.

“DoT may work with TSPs (telecom service providers) to evolve a framework to verify the existing mobile subscribers through Aadhaar based e-KYC services in a phased manner and within a defined timeframe. However, this process should be optional to the service providers as well as mobile subscribers,” Trai said in a statement.

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As per the suggestions, Subscribers may have to be given some sops in terms of free talk-time or data to encourage them to undergo the e-KYC process. “The existing paper-based KYC is not robust enough and the possibility of significant number of working SIMs, which may have been acquired on fake/forged identity, cannot be fully ruled out.

The owner of such fake identity would not even be aware that SIMs are working in his/her name,” Trai said. Stating that it has received several cases from state police where it has been found that hundreds of SIM cards have been obtained on fake documents, Trai is of the view that the existence of such SIM cards poses a real security challenge.

“It is essential that not only the new subscribers are enrolled through the e-KYC process, but the existing subscriber base should also be verified through e-KYC process in a phased manner within a defined timeframe. Further, barring e-KYC for outstation customers results in artificial restriction and avoidable inconvenience,” Trai observed.

Terming Aadhaar linked e-KYC as a “robust mechanism” for verification, Trai said the system takes care of the issues relating to fake or forged identity proof and manual entry into the system, among others.

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