India Moves to Completely Digital KYC Process for SIM Cards Starting 2024

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The traditional physical verification process, as per the guidelines of August 9, 2012, will no longer be valid from January 1, 2024. 

The Department of Telecommunication (DoT) of India has introduced new methods for SIM card verification, marking the end of the paper-based verification process.  Effective from December 1, these new rules were initially introduced in August 2023. 

Starting January 1, 2024, DoT will transition to a digital verification process, eliminating the need for physical verification of SIM cards. This decision impacts all Unified Access Services (UAS) and Unified License (UL) holders with access service authorization licenses in India.

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The latest directive from DoT requires UAS and UL license holders to abandon the paper-based KYC (Know Your Customer) process. The traditional physical verification process, as per the guidelines of August 9, 2012, will no longer be valid from January 1, 2024. Despite these changes, other terms and conditions of the 2012 notification will remain in effect, subject to future amendments.

The move to digital verification is a response to numerous amendments to the KYC framework by the government over the years. The shift to a digital verification process aims to eliminate SIM fraud and enhance the efficiency of the SIM card verification process.

The new DoT rules also prohibit the bulk sale of mobile SIMs. Point-of-sale (PoS) agents must sign an agreement with telecom providers, assuring compliance with legal standards. Violations could lead to a permanent ban for the agents involved. This transition signifies a significant step towards digitalization in India’s telecommunications sector, aiming to streamline processes and enhance security measures.

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