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How instant Aadhaar eKYC verification for SIM cards works


Customers looking to acquire SIM cards can submit Aadhaar eKYC (Know Your Customer) or the downloaded version of Aadhaar card as identity proof to a telco’s Point of Sale (PoS) counter for verification, the DoT said in a notification (pdf). This will be rolled out in all licensed telecom circles for issuance of mobile connections as an alternative process, added the notification. An Economic Times report said that Airtel, Vodafone, and Idea will soon adapt Aadhaar eKYC as verification for customers in the coming week, while other telcos are expected to follow.

For Aadhaar based verification, telcos are instructed to maintain details including complete address and codes of all PoS counters and registered distributor centres. Telcos will also have store Aadhaar card details of appointed sales agents themselves. This is required so that a telco can verify whether a request for subscriber enrollment comes from an appointed agent, who in turn will verify his identity and customer’s identity via a biometric device at PoS counters.

Agents, employees, franchisees, distributors appointed by telecom operators will verify a customer’s identity and subsequently activate their SIM card instantly in the following process:

  1. Customer approaches a PoS counter with printed copy of Aadhaar eKYC form that carries Aadhaar ID, photograph. An authorized agent at the PoS counter will first authenticate himself using Aadhaar number and scanned biometric data. This data will then be forwarded to the UIDAI server.
  2. UIDAI will verify that the agent has already registered himself with an Aadhaar identity card. Post verification, details of the agent including his /her name, gender, photograph, date of birth, etc. will be transferred in a digitally signed and encrypted format along with Aadhaar number to the licensee (telco).
  3. After successful counter verification from the telco’s end with data received from UIDAI server, a customer acquisition form (CAF) will be forwarded in a digital format to the agent’s PoS terminal (PC). The CAF form will be generated in a read-only and un-editable format. In addition, Aadhar number of the agent and a ‘unique e-KYC response code’ along with date & time stamp, which denotes the time and date of a successful biometric authentication (with UIDAI server) will be printed on the CAF form.
  4. The above process is then repeated for the customer as well. He/she will manually scan iris/fingerprint data, and provide Aadhaar number for verifying with UIDAI server. The UIDAI server then sends back demographic details of the customer including name, photograph, date of birth, gender, contact details, etc. to the telco’s end in a digital read-only encrypted format.
  5. The CAF form which was earlier generated at the agent’s PoS terminal (PC) will then subsequently be updated with customer’s demographic details and Aadhaar number, post successful biometric verification of the customer with UIDAI servers. The authorized agent will then denote (in the CAF form) that he has met customer physically at time of CAF generation and verify with the photograph relayed back from the UIDAI server, and hands over the SIM card to the customer.

Customer declaration and subscriber enrollment to network

The customer after receiving the SIM card will declare that the information provided by him and the data received from UIDAI server is matching. Customer need not sign the CAF form since biometric details will be treated as signature. The customer will once again have to scan his iris/fingerprint, and manually enter Aadhaar number at the PoS terminal (PC), but this time the response from UIDAI server will only be in form of “success or fail” of subscriber registration with telco.

After capturing biometrics data of the customer at this stage, the telco’s server will check whether the Aadhaar number relayed back by UIDAI server is same as what the customer entered while initial enrolling. The CAF form is then updated and forwarded by the agent’s PoS terminal to the telco’s server; the telco will then update its database to enroll the subscriber to its network.

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Note that a customer can avail only one SIM card per Aadhaar eKYC form; for availing a new SIM card he/she will have to go through the above process one more time.

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