Bharti Airtel and Vodafone India, two of the country's leading mobile operators, are rolling out Aadhar-based e-KYC service at their stores to help customers activate new SIMs instantly with Aadhaar number verification.
While Airtel has rolled out the service at its stores in Delhi-NCR, Vodafone is launching the facility across India from 24 August.
Bharti Airtel's decision comes less than a week after the telecom department cleared electronic-Know Your Customer (e-KYC) rules for using biometric identification for issuing new mobile connections.
"The Aadhaar-based e-KYC solution is live in company-operated stores across Delhi NCR and will be rolled out across the country over the next few days," Bharti Airtel said in an official statement on Monday.
"Customers walking in for a new connection at our stores will walk out talking in just a few minutes. We had partnered with the Department of Telecom (DoT) to pilot the Aadhaar based e-KYC solution and tested it successfully in two circles," Vodafone India director (commercial) Sandeep Kataria said in a statement. "Effective Wednesday, August 24, we are rolling it out across the country," Kataria said.
Vodafone said it has also developed a special app that allows retailers to activate customers using e-KYC.
With Airtel' 254 million subscribers and Vodafone's 198 million users the two together had over 400 million mobile phone users as of May 2016, according to Trai data.
Beginning September 2016, this paperless validation and activation facility will be rolled out in all 10,000-plus Vodafone branded stores in urban and rural areas. It will also be rolled out across all multi-brand outlets pan India, in a phased manner.
Airtel said the solution - currently live at its Delhi NCR stores - would be available at company-operated stores across the country over the next few days. The e-KYC facility would shortly also be extended to those stores which are not directly operated by the company, a Bharti Airtel spokesperson said.
India's third-largest mobile phone operator Idea Cellular, said it would also roll out e-KYC shortly, but did not elaborate.
Mobile customers opting for electronic Know Your Customer (e-KYC) verification just need to know their Aadhaar number, which along with their fingerprint will be used for confirmation for both new connections - pre-paid and post-paid.
The move is intended to cut down time for SIM activation as customer verification is done instantly.