New Delhi, Dec 16: The Unique Identity Authority of India (UIDAI) on Saturday cancelled the licences of  Bharti Airtel and Airtel Payments Bank to conduct Aadhaar-based SIM verification of mobile customers using the eKYC process as well as e-KYC of payments bank clients.  The action comes in the wake of allegations made by the customers of Airtel that it used Aadhaar-eKYC based SIM verification process to open payments bank accounts without their consent. They had also alleged the company had linked them to receive LPG subsidy.

The order of UIDAI states 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.

Airtel, in its response to the action, said that it has received interim order from the UIDAI regarding temporary suspension of Aadhaar linked e-KYC services. “We can confirm that we have received interim order from the UIDAI regarding temporary suspension of Aadhaar linked e-KYC services till their satisfaction on certain processes relating to Airtel payment banks onboarding of customers,” PTI quoted the company spokesperson as saying.

“We are engaging with the authority and are hopeful of an early resolution. We are also undertaking to complete the said actions on priority and have commenced thorough checks of our process flows. Being compliant to all guidelines is paramount to us. In the interim, any inconvenience to our customers is regretted,” the spokesperson added.

More than 23 lakh customers have reportedly received Rs 47 crore in their Airtel bank accounts, which they did not know had been opened.