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

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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.

The suspension of eKYC license means Airtel can not carry out electronic verification of SIM cards using the 12-digit Aadhaar identity till the temporary ban lift.

"In many cases across the three oil marketing companies (Indian OilBSE -0.94 % Corp, Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd and HPCL) where the Aadhaar linking of LPG consumers has got changed in the NPCI mapper to Airtel Payments Bank and hence the LPG subsidy is getting sent to the new bank account in the Airtel Payments Bank", it said.

As stated, Airtel Payments Bank e-KYC license is also temporarily banned, and the operator will not be able to open a new account using Aadhaar e-KYC.

In order to link LPG Subsidy to earlier bank account, HPCL has written to Airtel Bank and requested that the subsidy amounts of these consumers be immediately either transferred back to the customer's earlier bank account or to the respective OMC's.

"It has been confirmed from the UIDAI, regarding temporary suspension of Aadhaar linked e-KYC services till their satisfaction on certain processes relating to Airtel Payments Bank's onboarding of customers", the company said in a statement on Saturday.

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In order to check diversions, the government pays subsidy equivalent to buying 12 LPG cylinders of 14.2 kg each in a year, directly into the bank accounts of beneficiaries.

"Being compliant to all guidelines is paramount to us. In the interim, any inconvenience to our customers in regretted". The customers cried foul and said that they had not even signed up for Airtel Payments Bank account.

Suspending the "e-KYC licence key", UIDAI ordered PricewaterhouseCoopers to conduct an audit of Bharti Airtel and Airtel Payments Bank to ascertain if their systems and processes are in compliance with the Aadhaar Act.

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

The issue came to light when a few customers complained about receiving their cooking gas subsidy under the DBT scheme in the Airtel Payments Bank account instead of their designated savings bank accounts with other banks. "UIDAI may consider revocation of suspension or decide further necessary action upon receipt of the report", added the PTI report.

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