New Delhi: Several Indian telecom operators including Idea Cellular, Vodafone and Airtel are preparing to launch e-KYC services by the end of the year, according to a report.
The move follows the department of telecommunications charging mobile operators Rs 2,800 crore ($420 million) in penalties from 2007 through 2012 for issuing SIM cards based on fake identity documents.
The new e-KYC services will enable telecos to save on cost and time by providing immediate and accurate verifications through the Aadhar biometric identity card number system.
The identity of Indian citizens can be authenticated in less than 30 seconds if the person has an Aadhar card number by verifying their fingerprint biometric data.The DoT is currently conducting pilot programs with various teleco providers to verify the nationally integrated system.
With some 950 million mobile and data connections happening every year, it is a growing challenge for telecos to identify every customer with a driver’s licence and identity documents that can be easily forged. Using the Aadhar card number and a biometric authentication solution would greatly improve the authentication process and make it significantly easier to identify citizens.
India’s largest telcom operator Airtel has been performing test runs of e-KYC services in several states including UP and Rajasthan, where it has seen a direct impact on its cost and time savings, an Airtel official said. Meanwhile, DoT selected Vodafone India to lead the way for launching an instant, safe and secure e-KYC authentication service in Kolkata.
So far, the teleco has completed over 1,300 activations and is working closely with DoT to make this pilot project a success, a Vodafone spokesperson said.