Starting today, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has introduced new guidelines for SIM cards to tackle online financial fraud. These regulations involve customer KYC updates, dealer verifications, and the elimination of bulk SIM card purchases.
Customer KYC Process for New SIM Cards
Customers buying new SIM cards must undergo a digital Know Your Customer (KYC) process. This includes providing demographic details, with the KYC reform capturing information by scanning the QR code on the printed AADHAR card. For SIM replacements, subscribers need to complete the KYC process, with a 24-hour limitation on outgoing and incoming SMS facilities.
New Mobile Number Allocations and Bulk Purchase Changes
The government specified that a new mobile number can only be allocated 90 days after disconnection by the previous user. Additionally, bulk purchases of SIM cards are no longer allowed. Instead, businesses can opt for business connections, requiring an authorised signatory to submit necessary documents for bulk SIM card purchases.
Mandatory Verification for Dealers to Curb Fraud
Under the updated rules, all telecom operators must register their franchises, Point-of-Sale (PoS) agents, and distributors. They are also required to undergo verification, with a Rs. 10 lakh fine for non-compliance. PoS agents need to register through a written agreement with licensees, and existing agents have 12 months to align with the new registration process.
Crack Down on Fraudulent Practices
This measure aims to eliminate rogue PoS agents involved in fraudulent activities, including issuing SIM cards to antisocial or anti-national elements. The government warns that PoS agents engaged in illegal activities will face termination and a three-year blacklist.