Telecom lobby proposes online self-KYC process for new SIM cards

Telecom lobby proposes online self-KYC process for new SIM cards
Photo Credit: VCCircle
7 Apr, 2020

Telecom lobby group Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) has proposed a digital process to facilitate new mobile connections through a self-know-your-customer (KYC) process, in a letter to the department of telecom (DoT) viewed by TechCircle.

Users are unable to buy new mobile connections during the 21-day curfew imposed in view of social distancing to combat Covid-19, the letter dated April 2 said. Exemptions to the curfew include only services, listed by the Ministry of Home Affairs, which are considered essential to the general population.

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The proposed paperless activation process would require a customer to log on to the website or app of a chosen telecom service provider, after which the customer would select a local service area (LSA) where the number is to be activated.

Further, the customer would need to manually input relevant KYC details such as name, address, gender, date of birth and father’s name, apart from uploading documents to prove the details.

The customer will then record or read out a 5-second short video during which the liveliness of the recording is detected and the best photo is captured using an artificial intelligence tool, COAI said in particular of its proposal.

The validity of the proof and details will then be ascertained at the telecom service provider’s back-end operations, COAI said.

Read: Amid Covid-19 lockdowns, COAI asks streaming platforms to reduce video quality to ease network load

“The proposed process will not only provide a reliable, speedier and hassle free alternative but will also serve as a great convenience to the customers,” the letter signed off by Rajan Mathews, director general at COAI concluded in the request. The letter was addressed to DoT secretary Anshu Prakash.

Founded in 1995, COAI is a non-governmental industry lobby group of mobile service providers, telecom equipment, internet services providers and other digital technologies' companies and businesses in India.