Two months after the Supreme Court asked the government to register ID details of all mobile subscribers in the country, Airtel and Idea Cellular have reportedly become the first operators to begin the process of verification through Aadhaar. The directive by the court came in light of the increased use of mobile phones for banking-related activities post demonetization. As per a DoT ruling, telcos have to re-verify all existing subscribers, including prepaid and postpaid users, by February 6, 2018.
While linking Aadhaar details with the mobile number is a step towards adding more security and thwarting misuse by users, re-verification of the over 1.1 billion mobile number userbase in India is bit of a task telcos have at hands. According to 91mobiles, Airtel and Idea Cellular have started reaching out to retailers to start Aadhaar-based e-KYC process. The report further warns that if the required verification is not complete, users’ numbers will be disconnected.
BGR India reached out to Airtel executives to confirm the procedure for verification. Irrespective of whether you received a notification, you can visit the stores nearby with your Aadhaar card details and link your mobile number with it. These stores also have a dedicated biometric authentication device to record your fingerprints for the database. There is no need to submit any other proof of identity.
Other than complying with the government norms, this is also a precautionary measure to secure users from any mishap. Upon asking, the Airtel customer support explained that these details are also helpful for assisting users during any security-related issue. Given that Airtel also has its own payments bank, the need to have mobile number verified with Aadhaar card is all the more crucial.
Mobile numbers which are without verification also pose a threat to the nation’s security. With numbers available at cheap rates, it doesn’t take much for people to own multiple numbers with forged identity. Not only does this make it difficult for internal forces to nab criminals, but it also makes it difficult for operators to deal with legal complexities which may arise later.
As more people hop on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Digital India drive, such measures would only help in the longer run to make a safe, secure ecosystem where user data is not compromised. Hence, it is advisable to get your mobile numbers (which are linked with your phone banking, salary accounts) re-verified before the deadline. You can also call up the customer support helpline number, and have a clear understanding of how the verification process works.