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A new procedure in India to obtain a SIM Card for Smartphone

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Aadhaar and biometric enough for issue of SIM card in India
Aadhaar and biometric enough for issue of SIM card in IndiaMo

The Aadhaar card system in India, has been a boon for the 1.2 billion citizens. Aadhaar is used in many of the government schemes and also in maintaining a database of individuals along with their biometric details in digital form. All though 104,44,86,687 Indians have been enrolled on the Aadhaar scheme (till 18 Aug 2016), there are sometime teething problems of verification and matching of one-to-many records in the database. The e-KYC guidelines, issued by the Government of India, has legitimised the inputs of Aadhar to make the online process of application and authentication faster and simpler for subscribers of any scheme in India. Now the government has also announced that a SIM applicant can apply, validate and activate new pre-paid and post-paid mobile connections using the Aadhaar card and fingerprint at the point of sale.

Digitally-signed electronic KYC data provided by UIDAI is machine readable, making it possible for licensees to directly store it as customer record in their database for the purpose of issuing a mobile connection,” a DoT notification said.

COAI Director General Rajan Mathews felt that the move will be helpful for all stakeholders as it simplifies activation, eases verification process and enhances security.

The e-KYC, is a medium to facilitate a customer by means of the Aadhaar number and biometrics to verify the identity and also provide the mobile service provider the right and also the authorisation to UIDAI to provide demographic details such as name, address, date of birth and gender, along with the digitally-signed photograph.

The customer who is desirous to obtain a SIM card needs to furnish the Aadhaar number before the seller who will capture biometric details – fingerprint or iris.

The system will transmit Aadhaar details to the telecom operator who will authorise the SIM seller to fill the form and verify details of the customer on the sales terminal. The seller will have to confirm that they has seen the customer and match the photo displayed online from UIDAI before finally handing over the SIM to the buyer.

The Aadhaar interface will be used both for populating the customer acquisition form and authentication and verification of the subscriber.

This system will facilitate two major issues; one is quicker issue after verification of the SIM card, ans also the legitimise the applicant which can be used if any such unscrupulous activities is carried out by using the SIM.