The UIDAI maintained suspension on Airtel Payments Bank's Aadhaar e-KYC licence, said sources.
In December last year, in its strongest action yet, the UIDAI had temporarily barred Bharti Airtel and Airtel Payments Bank from conducting Aadhaar-based SIM verification of mobile customers using e-KYC process as well as e-KYC of payments bank clients.
The action followed allegations of Bharti Airtel using the Aadhaar-eKYC based SIM verification process to open payments bank accounts of its subscribers without their ‘informed consent’. The UIDAI also took strong objection to allegations that such payments bank accounts were being linked to receive LPG subsidy.
The UIDAI's move essentially means Airtel would not be able to, in the interim, carry out ‘electronic-verification’ or link mobile SIMs of its customers with their 12-digit biometric national ID Aadhaar through the efficient and paperless eKYC (or electronic Know Your Customer) process of UIDAI.
More than 23 lakh customers had reportedly received as many as Rs 47 crore in their Airtel bank accounts, which they did not know had been opened.
The Reserve Bank has also imposed a penalty of Rs 5 crore on Airtel Payments Bank for violating operating guidelines and KYC norms. The fine was imposed after RBI scrutinised the bank's documents relating to opening of accounts without any specific or clear consent from the customers.
(With PTI inputs)