Allow digital self-KYC process for new SIM cards: Telecom firms

The telecom companies have written to the government to allow a digital self-KYC process for issuing SIM cards to eliminate the need of physical visit to the stores.

“During this unprecedented lockdown period, there are no options available for buying a new mobile connection. Hence there is an urgent need for a self-KYC process which can be performed by an end to end online digital process by the customer himself/herself,” Rajan Mathews, Director General of the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) said in letter to Telecom Secretary Anshu Prakash.

In the letter dated April 2, Mr. Mathews said social distancing also makes the process imperative. “Due to unavailability of the process, the public at large are being devoid of telecom services.”

As per the format suggested by the telcos, the customer will need to log in to the website or application of the respective operators and fill up details such as name, date of birth and address and provide proof of identity and address. They will also be required to record or read out a 5-second short video during which the liveliness of the recording is detected and the best photo captured using AI tool.

“This process will not only eliminate the need for any physical contact but also ensures that the SIM is delivered only to the bona fide user of the service at the address mentioned in the proof of address.” Mr. Mathews said the proposal meets all the requirements of the KYC guidelines and are only amended to the extent of meeting them through online measures.

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