Airtel’s eKYC licence suspended

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Unique Identification Authority of India (UDAI), has forbidden Bharti Airtel from performing the e-KYC process of mobile customers and payments bank. The telecommunication giant was accused of performing the e-KYC process for sim card customer and opening bank accounts with this information without the customer’s consent. Furthermore, UDAI also objected to allegations regarding the same accounts being used to attain LPG subsidies. Therefore, UDAI has temporarily suspended Bharti Airtel’s e-KYC licence.Airtel-Payments-Bank-logo

This means that the telecommunication giant will not be able to conduct their e-KYC on customers currently. Nevertheless, accounts may be created by using alternative methods, which are hectic and time consuming. Over 23 lakh customers have complained about receiving bank accounts with Airtel bank.

When UIDAI studied the Airtel mobile app, they realized that after the app is opened, there appears a welcome message along with a pre-ticked agreement box. This consent box appears only for a few seconds before it disappears. The box prompts users to create a Airtel payment wallet using their current KYC. The dialogue box says, ‘Upgrade or create my Airtel Payment Bank wallet using existing Airtel mobile KYC.’ This is a transparent violation of Aadhaar Act and Regulations.

UDAI will now take a decision on whether to prolong the suspension, waive it, or revoke the licence completely.

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