The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has rolled out a web interface for online authentication of Aadhaar numbers, reports The Economic Times. The interface would allow banks, telecom companies and government departments to authenticate an Indian resident on the basis of his Aadhaar number or UID, in accordance with KYC norms and process his application on the same basis. MediaNama readers would recall that apart from Yes or No responses, Aadhaar does not send any other data back. Also the agency had said that it will limit the number of verification attempts per ID, to prevent misuse. The service will be available free of charge till December 2013, post which, it’s likely to become a paid service, when the authority formulates a mechanism and fixes a price. The agencies that want to authenticate users require a license key, but we do not know how UIDAI has integrated this with the web interface. We were not able to find a direct link to the web interface.

The web authentication interface could also act as a self service verification system for non-critical applications where additional factors such as biometric verification are not required. For example, instead of a one time password, banks could use Aadhaar numbers to authenticate an online transaction from a customer. It could also be used for verifying online user accounts including Twitter and Facebook accounts, as UIDAI Chairman Nandan Nilekani, had indicated at one of the developer conferences.

Aadhaar had already declared its plans for integrating the UID with third party applications through API calls. Nilekani had said that API calls for third party authentication applications would be free of charge, for the next couple of years.

Related coverage:
RBI To Acknowledge UID As KYC For All Bank Accounts
Aadhaar Could Be Used To Verify Twitter & Facebook Accounts
– Aadhaar & The Developer Ecosystem: Free API Calls Initially; Transliteration
– Aadhaar: Enrollment, Authentication & Beyond