Self-KYC process for issuing SIMs to new mobile phone subscribers amid lockdown?
New mobile phone subscriber acquisitions have virtually come to a halt amid the lockdown to contain coronavirus.
New mobile phone subscriber acquisitions have virtually come to a halt amid the lockdown to contain coronavirus. Now, the Apex Advisory Council for Telecom in India (ACT) has approached the government to allow a well-defined self-KYC process for subscriber verification for new mobile connections.
The Apex Advisory Council for Telecom in India (ACT), a joint industry initiative supported by Cellular Operators' Association of India (COAI) and telecom service providers, said that such an alternate digital process is the "need of the hour" given the uncertainty regarding the period for which social distancing restrictions will be imposed in the country.
ACT, in a letter to Telecom Secretary Anshu Prakash, said that during this "unprecedented lockdown period", there are no options available for buying a new mobile connection. "Hence there is an urgent need to facilitate customers for obtaining new mobile connections through a self KYC process which can be performed by an end to end online digital process by the customer himself/herself," ACT said.
To maintain and practice the need of social distancing in the time to come, the industry has suggested that a self-KYC process for issuing new mobile connections and SIM exchanges/swapping should be made available for the people.
"As you are aware that at present, due to unavailability of such a process, the public at large is being devoid of telecom services during the lockdown/curfew," the letter said.
Proposing a step by step self-KYC process for subscriber verification in case of issue of SIM cards to new mobile subscribers and SIM exchange using online facilities, it said such a process will not only eliminate the need for any physical contact but also ensure that the SIM card is delivered only to the bonafide user of the service at the address mentioned in the proof of address.
The self-KYC mooted by the industry involves filling of forms, capturing live photo of the customer with geo-tag and time stamp, as well as one-time passwords.
The 21-day nationwide lockdown was announced on March 24.
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