As the new year approaches, one of the welcome changes that Indian consumers will see is the way they purchase SIM cards for mobile connectivity. The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) recently issued a notification directing telecom companies to phase out physical verification of customers before selling SIM cards.
Therefore, Know Your Customer (KYC) verification will be fully digital. Customers can then authenticate digitally by simply presenting a photo ID.
This definitely makes the whole process of getting a SIM card easy, seamless, and much more convenient.
Phasing out physical verification
Although some service providers have already started using digital means to apply for SIM cards, paper-based options have not been completely phased out.
As the new year approaches, old paper-based KYC verification will become a thing of the past.
The move is seen not only as a faster and more convenient way to operate new mobile phone connections, but also as a cost-cutting mechanism for carriers.
“In view of the various amendments/changes made from time to time to the existing KYC (Know Your Customer) framework, it has been decided to discontinue the use of paper-based KYC process as envisaged in the instructions dated September 8, 2012. has been made applicable from January 1, 2024,” the DoT said in the notification.
The move is seen as a way to reduce customer acquisition costs for carriers and curb SIM card fraud.
Paper-based verification systems involve filling out a paper form, pasting a photo, and attaching proof of identity and proof of address.
It is worth pointing out that the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has tightened validation rules for customers and point of sale (PoS) entities to curb fraud.
It was a well-known fact that mobile connections were obtained by fraudsters working with PoS organizations and then used for criminal purposes.
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