Vodafone will issue mobile phone connections to its customers on the basis of Aadhaar identity cards after having been chosen as an authentication service agency by the Unique Identity Authority of India (UIDAI). People can pop up their 12-digit Aadhaar (Unique Identification Authority of India) numbers at a Vodafone counter (in Hyderabad and Vijayawada for now) and can get a SIM-card, without having to bother submitting a proofs of identity and address. The telecom provider on Wednesday rolled out a project that will help Vodafone customers obtain postpaid and prepaid connections on the strength of their Aadhaar card (that will suffice for both address and identity proof) and biometric data (fingerprints), which the telecom operator will verify with its unique identification number database instantaneously and issue new connections on the spot.
Though States such as Andhra Pradesh have already started using Aadhaar numbers (again in pilots) in public distribution system, it is for the first time that UIDAI has given a private agency access to the database that currently has details about 21 crore people. The project is still at a proof-of-concept stage, and will be tested at two Vodafone stores in Andhra Pradesh—Sardar Patel Road in Hyderabad and Bandar Road outlet in Vijayawada. “When a subscriber shows his Aadhaar number, we will authenticate it by taking his or her finger impressions. This information will hit the UIDAI servers in Delhi for verification. Within no time, we will get authentication. This will significantly reduce the time and verification costs,” T.V. Ramachandran, Resident Director (Regulatory Affairs and Government Relations) of Vodafone, said.
Source: Business Line