Published: Mon, December 18, 2017
Finance | By Loren Pratt

UIDAI suspends Airtel, Airtel Bank's Aadhaar-linked e-KYC services

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.

According to reports, the Aadhaar creation and governing body has temporarily prohibited the telecom giant from carrying out Aadhaar-based SIM verification of its customers using e-KYC process.

UIDAI has also ordered audit of systems of Airtel and Airtel Payments Bank by a private firm to find out if they were in compliance with the provisions of the Aadhaar Act, which the company has, prima facie, been found to be in contravention of.

"To link LPG subsidy to earlier bank accounts, we have written to Airtel Payments Bank that the subsidy amounts of these consumers be immediately either transferred back to their earlier bank accounts or to the respective oil marketing companies", HPCL said in a statement. We are also undertaking to complete the said actions on priority and have commenced thorough checks of our process flows. "Being compliant with all guidelines is paramount to us", the statement added.

Commenting on suspension of its license, Airtel in a BSE filing said, "This is to inform you that on December 16, 2017, Bharti Airtel Limited (Airtel) and Airtel Payments Bank Limited (APBL) (a subsidiary of Airtel), have been served with an Interim Order dated December 15, 2017 by the Unique Identification Authority of India, Government of India ('UIDAI') directing suspension of the e-KYC license key of Airtel / APBL with immediate effect".

Taking action on the same, UIDAI reportedly sent the first notice on September 18 asking Airtel and Airtel Payments Bank explain the matter.

These accounts, that were started on its payments bank, were later turned into accounts to which all subsidy payments, including cooking gas subsidies of close to 50 lakh customers that totaled around Rs 167 crore were directed to.

Subscribers of Airtel had earlier alleged that the company had opened bank accounts in Airtel Payments Bank when they used the "Aadhaar linked e-KYC services". The report also adds that Airtel Payments Bank account can be opened through alternate methods, if available.

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