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Govt tightens KYC and Point-of-Sale norms to protect mobile phone users

New app launched by IIT Madras

In order to provide greater protection to mobile phone users and promote a safer and cleaner digital utilization system, the government today launched new Point of Sale (POS) and KYC reforms.

According to a statement issued by the Department of Telecommunications today the existing KYC process to uniquely identify a customer and enable his traceability before providing him telecom services has been further strengthened. This will enhance the protection for subscribers of telecom services from any probable frauds and increase the confidence of the general public in the digital ecosystem.

*To prevent misuse of printed Aadhaar, the demographic details will mandatorily be captured by scanning the QR code of printed Aadhaar.  In case of disconnection of a mobile number, it will not be allocated to any other new customer till expiry of 90 days. A subscriber has to undertake complete KYC for replacement of his SIM and there will be a bar of 24 hours on outgoing & incoming SMS facilities.

*In addition to thumb impression and iris-based authentication in Aadhaar E-KYC process, facial based biometric authentication is also permitted.

*Introduction of business connections for issuing of mobile connections to entities (for ex. company, organizations, trust, society, etc). Entities can take any number of mobile connections subject to complete KYC of all of its end-users. SIM will be activated only after successful KYC of end users and physical verification of premise/address of the entity.

*Point-of-Sale (POS) Registration Reforms: This reform introduces the process for mandatory registration of Franchisee, Agents and Distributors (PoS) by Licensees. This will help in eliminating the rogue PoS who by fraudulent practices issue SIMs to anti-social/anti-national elements.

The PoS registration process includes indisputable verification of PoS by Licensee. The process mandates written agreement between the PoS and the Licensees. If a PoS indulges in any illegal activities, it will be terminated and blacklisted for a period of 3 years. All the existing PoS will be registered as per this process by Licensees within 12 months.

This will help in identifying, blacklisting and eliminating rogue PoS, from the licensees’ system and provide an encouragement to the upright PoS.

The Department of Telecommunications said that through rigorous and comprehensive measures, the government aims to fortify customer security and bolster protection against the growing threat of telecom frauds.

By combining cutting-edge technology with vigilant oversight, the Department is steadfast in the mission to promote the highest level of safety and trust within the telecommunications landscape to provide a secure and reliable communication environment for all, the official statement added.