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Airtel’s e-KYC Licence Suspended After Opening Payments Bank Accounts Without Consent

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The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) collects the data of the Indian citizens and allocates a unique number called as Aadhaar. While the Aadhaar has many uses, one of its purposes is to get the faster verification by matching the previous biometric details instead of recollecting the biometric data for every single purpose. The UIDAI licenses the e-KYC key for the companies to verify the user using the Aadhaar number.

Airtel, which also got the Payments Bank license from RBI is now temporarily barred from using the Aadhaar-based e-KYC process for issuing SIM cards and opening new Payments Bank accounts. Based on the report, Airtel is allegedly opening the Payments Bank accounts for the Airtel customers without their consent. Based on the report, the Airtel dealers are opening the Payments Bank accounts while the doing the e-KYC process for the Airtel SIM cards.

Though there is no confirmation, it is reported that more than 23 lakh Airtel customers have received almost Rs. 47,00,00,000 in their Airtel Payments Bank accounts even without knowing about their bank account details. While the mobile phone users need to link the SIM cards with their Aadhaar number, Airtel won’t be able to do that with this suspension. Even the company can’t open new Airtel Payments Bank accounts using the Aadhaar.

While UIDAI has twice sent the notices to Airtel, but the company replied saying there is no wrongdoing from their side. Based on the report, the UIDAI looked into the MyAirtel app and found out that there is a welcome message with pre-ticked consent box saying “Upgrade or create my Airtel Payment Bank wallet using existing Airtel mobile KYC.” Let’s wait and see, how many days the company will be barred from using Aadhaar-based e-KYC.

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