Late last evening, Airtel said that the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has allowed the company to resume Aadhaar-based eKYC services through a notification to the stock exchanges. However, it looks like it is a partial restoration and the UIDAI will only allow mobile SIM KYC through Aadhaar and will not allow the same for opening bank accounts, as indicated by this Mint report. The publication added that the UIDAI will allow eKYC verification till January 10.
Meanwhile, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the department of telecom (DoT) and auditing firm PricewaterhouseCoopers India will check Airtel’s systems, processes, applications, documentation to ensure that it is compliant with its licence conditions. The audit is expected to be completed by January.
The UIDAI suspended Airtel’s eKYC licence following the numerous reports from users that the company was opening bank accounts without the explicit consent of users using the Aadhaar data when they came to re-verify themselves as per government norms. Through this, Airtel Payments Bank accounts were being linked to receive LPG subsidy.
Note that the number of deposits four functional payments banks (PB) in stood at Rs 236.45 crore at the end of November and Airtel Payments Bank had the highest number of deposits with Rs 224.03 crore growing 26% from Rs 177.05 crore in August. Reportedly, more than 23 lakh customers have reportedly received about Rs 47 crore in their Airtel bank accounts, which they did not know had been opened. The UIDAI had launched an investigation on Airtel’s eKYC processes on November 30.
Aadhaar Mapper suspended
Meanwhile, the government ordered the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) to stop the override feature of the Aadhaar Payment Bridge (APB) mapper to send direct benefit transfer (DBT) subsidy to bank accounts till it fixes issues in the mapper.
The UIDAI said that the NPCI will allow over ride request to an Aadhaar holder only if it is accompanied by the name of their current bank on the APB mapper and confirmation from the requesting bank that it has obtained the requisite consent of the Aadhaar holder for switching to the requesting bank on the mapper.
Banks will have to inform account holders through SMS and email within 24 hours that a request has been sent to the NPCI to put their account on the mapper. Following which, they can change the bank account on the NPCI mapper.