After receiving flak from RBI, UIDAI as well as customers over Aadhaar-based SIM e-KYC controversy, Airtel Payments Bank has been allowed by the banking regulator to enroll new customers.
This is a sigh of relief for the Sunil Mittal-led company which was temporarily barred from doing KYC via Aadhaar. In March, this year, UIDAI had restored Airtel’s authorisation to conduct Aadhaar-based verification of its mobile subscribers but did not allow it to conduct the 12-digit unique identification number-based e-KYC.
Now, Airtel has been allowed to continue both the services.
Earlier in December 2017, UIDAI had suspended Airtel Payments Bank e-KYC license after it came under scanner for the Aadhaar-based e-KYC SIM verification process to open payments bank accounts of its subscribers without their consent.
The case came to light when over 2.3 million customers had reportedly received about Rs 47 crore in their Airtel bank accounts, which they did not know had been opened. Airtel had allegedly been linking payments bank account to receive LPG subsidy.
Following the incident, UIDAI had asked RBI, Department of Telecom (DoT) and audit and consultancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers to conduct an audit to ascertain if Airtel’s systems and processes are in compliance with the Aadhaar Act or not.
Airtel was allowed by UIDAI to use Aadhaar for re-verification of its mobile customers after it returned Rs 138 crore of LPG subsidy remitted to the unsolicited payments bank accounts.
Meanwhile, RBI had also conducted a supervisory visit to Airtel Payments Bank and in March it fined Rs 5 crore on Airtel for violating operating guidelines and know your customer (KYC) norms.
The development was reported by Mint via PTI