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Consumer consent is needed for changing subsidy – receiving bank a/c: UIDAI

A gazetted notification is released from UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India) stating that banks will have to seek an explicit consent from the customers before changing the subsidy receiving account.

It has also directed bank to send an intimation message to the beneficiary 24 hours before making the changes. This intimation can be send through SMS or email ID and will also have to provide an option to the person to reverse the change.

This step has been taken by UIDAI after it has received several complaints regarding government grants, particularly LPG subsidy, being credited into the last account authenticated using national biometric ID, Aadhaar.

Another reason behind it is to avoid repeating Bharti Airtel blunder, where the service provider was accused for using the e – KYC (Know Your Customer) based SIM verification process in order to open payments bank accounts of its subscribers without their probation, UIDAI decided to put a hold on BhartiAirtel and Airtel Payment Banks from conducting Aadhaar based SIM verification of mobile customer using e – KYC process as well as e – KYC Payments bank clients.

To know more about it you can also read https://rupeenomics.com/uidai-had-put-an-interim-stay-on-bharti-airtel-from-conducting-e-kyc-or-sim-verification/

Government has made it mandatory for all bank accounts as well as SIMs to be verified by providing the 12 digit biometric identification number Aadhaar.

Subsidies over 190 crore flown to into the ‘unsolicited’ accounts opened by Airtel Payment Banks. The accounts had also got changed for beneficiaries who had multiple bank accounts as the last account authenticated became the one meant for subsidy receiving.

In the notification UIDAI said

the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) shall allow override requests or change of subsidy – receiving account, only if it is accompanied by the name of the beneficiary’s current bank and a confirmation that explicit consent has been obtained for the switchover.

The notification also read that until the time the provision comes into being “NCPI shall disable the override feature” in the Aadhaar – based bank account mapping process.

In this matter, UIDAI CEO Ajay Bhusan Pandey said 

a very secure process has been evolved to put an effective stop to switching of bank accounts without informing and seeking consent of consumers.

New process has been designed in a way that banks can send request for mapping of a new account or overriding an existing bank account to NPCI only after taking explicit and informed consent of their customers.

Besides that, the government will also have to send intimation to the customers through SMS or email informing the same within 24 hours and provide name of the current bank on the mapper and the last four digits of the account number of the new bank along with the bank name.

Else signature on the paper will also be considered valid in absence of an SMS or email (for a customer who does not have a mobile phone or secured internet connection). The signature on the paper consent form will have to be taken by the bank prior to sending the request on NPCI mapper.

Banks and NPCI shall make available the aforesaid records at the time of the audit as per the provisions of Aadhaar Authentication Regulations 2016.

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