• People opting for a new SIM card can now do so online by getting their online documents verified.
  • The e-KYC rate has also been revised to one rupee by UIDAI.
  • Customers can also switch to a postpaid or prepaid connection through OTP conversion.

People looking for new SIM cards or planning to switch from prepaid to postpaid connection or vice versa will be able to do it from their homes, online. The Minister of Communications, Ashwini Vaishnaw, on Tuesday, tweeted that the Know Your Customer (KYC) process has now been simplified for users and said that it will be contactless, secure and paperless. He shared a poster from the Department of Telecommunications which said that the KYC process will be Aadhar-based, electronic, secure and consumer-centric. The e-KYC rate has also been revised to one rupee by UIDAI. The process for the authentication will be digital and time-saving.

Now, even if customers want to apply for a new SIM card, they will not have to visit a retail store to get a new connection. Customers can get a Self-KYC and apply for mobile connections online and get their SIM delivered to their homes using documents electronically verified by UIDAI and DigiLocker.

The government of India introduced DigiLocker back in 2015, a platform to issue and verify documents and certificates digitally and to eliminate the use of physical documents, encouraging paperless governance. DigiLocker provides access to authentic virtual documents and allows users to store documents like driving license, PAN card, Voter ID, policy documents, among others.

Users can also get an OTP conversion from prepaid to postpaid or vice versa. While announcing the telecom reforms, the department had noted that shifting the SIM will not require a fresh KYC. “All KYC will be digitised and no form-paperwork is required now. No more repeat KYCs to go from prepaid to postpaid or vice versa. An auction calendar will be created and 1953 Customs notifications will be amended,” Vaishnav had said during the announcement of new telecom reforms last week.

He said the Union cabinet rationalised the adjusted gross revenue (AGR) definition by excluding non-telecom revenue of telcos from payment of statutory levies. AGR refers to revenues that are considered for payment of statutory dues.

Among the measures approved were a four-year moratorium on unpaid dues, AGR and spectrum dues. These measures are expected to ease the cash flow issues being faced by some players in the industry. All telecom reforms will be applied going forward, which means that Indian carriers will still have to pay the outstanding AGR payments to the government. The four-year deferral in payments of AGR dues will help Vodafone Idea get more time in paying the dues. Airtel and Jio hailed the government’s reforms for the telecom industry.

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