KYC process made simpler for telecom service subscribers

Photo: ET Telecom

India’s Department of Telecommunication (DoT) has issued a series of orders to simplify and digitize the know your customer (KYC) process in the telecom sector for getting a new mobile connection. It will also help in the conversion from prepaid to postpaid connection, among others benefits.

This follows in the wake of Telecom Minister, Ashwini Vaishnaw’s announcement of reforms for the telecom sector cleared by the Union Cabinet, where he said that all KYC for mobile connections would be digitized.

A media release from the Ministry of Communications noted, “The DoT, Ministry of Communications has issued a series of orders simplifying the KYC processes and thereby initiating the telecom reforms announced by the Cabinet”.

New orders

As per the DoT orders, the Aadhaar-based e-KYC process has been reintroduced for issuing new mobile connections. Telecom service providers will be charged Re 1 per customer authentication by the UIDAI.

The advantage is that it will be a completely paperless and digital process wherein the demographic details along with pictures of the customer are received online by the telecom service providers (TSPs) from the UIDAI.

Besides, the self-KYC process has also been introduced. Under it, the issuance of mobile connections to customers will be done through an app/portal-based online process.

A customer now has to only apply for mobile connection sitting at home/office and get the SIM card delivered at doorstep using documents electronically verified by UIDAI or DigiLocker.

The department has also introduced a process for OTP-based conversion of mobile connection from prepaid to postpaid and vice-versa.

“The implementation of OTP-based conversion process enables a subscriber to convert his mobile connection from prepaid to postpaid and vice-versa sitting at home/office via OTP-based authentication,” the ministry statement said.

Till now, for acquiring a telecom connection a user needs to travel to a Point of Sale (retail outlet) keeping his/her original identity document for the verification process. This takes a lot of time for both the customer and the company in issuing a new SIM.

Also, in this Covid era, there is a need for promoting contactless services for both the subscriber’s convenience and for the ease of doing business.

Further, the customer will remain in the loop as consent has been made compulsory in case Aadhaar is being used and demographic details are being obtained electronically from UIDAI.