Aadhaar eKYC can be used to authenticate beneficiaries of government subsidies and welfare schemes, the Aadhaar-issuing authority Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has clarified to banks. Physical Aadhaar card, meanwhile, can be used for verification of other customers, a source said.
According to a senior UIDAI official, the UIDAI wrote to banks last week for clarifying the modes and instances of using Aadhaar. A copy of the same was also sent to the Reserve Bank of India, he said.
Airtel fiasco: CEO Gopal Vittal admits to Aadhaar lapse, says situation could have been handled better
The UIDAI wrote to banks after it received a legal opinion on the matter, in the wake of a recent Supreme Court verdict that restricted the use of Aadhaar by private entities but cleared it for welfare schemes.
Banks can use Aadhaar authentication for beneficiaries of government subsidies and welfare schemes, the UIDAI said.
It also listed various 'options' for the use of Aadhaar (such as Quick Response or QR code and offline Aadhaar) for other banking customers in the light of Supreme Court judgement in the Aadhaar case, said the official.
Physical Aadhaar card can be used for verification in an offline mode if produced voluntarily, the UIDAI clarified.
"There are viable and completely paperless and digital options available through digitally signed electronic form of Aadhaar which allows identity to be verified online without pinging our server. And through such methods the services can be seamlessly and digitally offered by banks for non-DBT customers," said UIDAI CEO, Ajay Bhushan Pandey.
He also confirmed that UIDAI's views have been sent to banks but did not elaborate on details.
UIDAI has said that banks will be entitled to seek authentication of the beneficiaries availing subsidies, benefits, services under Aadhaar Act, for transfer of any subsidy or benefit to the bank account of the beneficiary, as well as for facilitating the withdrawal of money through Aadhaar based micro-ATM machines.
This means Aadhaar enabled Payment System (AePS) and BHIMAadhaar Pay shall remain operative and banks can continue maintaining and providing these facilities so that Direct Benefit Transfer or DBT beneficiaries can withdraw their money through the micro-ATMs, AePS, BHIM Aadhaar Pay.
The UIDAI also issued a circular to banks, in which it said banks can perform Aadhaar-based authentication using e-KYC for opening bank accounts too for customers giving declaration that they want to receive entitled benefits or subsidies of welfare schemes funded from the Consolidated Fund of India in their account directly.
For all other customers, banks cannot use Aadhaar electronic know your customer (e-KYC) authentication for opening bank accounts.
They are, however, not barred from accepting physical Aadhaar card or offline electronic Aadhaar, if offered voluntarily by an individual for opening bank accounts and verifying the authenticity through Quick Response code and others means, the official said.
Banks will be required to mask the first eight digits of the Aadhaar number while storing the physical copy of the Aadhaar card or e-Aadhaar, as per norms, the UIDAI has said.
It will be mandatory for the banks to provide Aadhaar enrolment facilities as the banks will be using Aadhaar e-KYC for opening bank accounts and withdrawal of money through AePS by DBT beneficiaries, the UIDAI said.