Vodafone Idea (Vi) is facing scrutiny from the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) for supplying mobile connections to corporate clients without adhering to the obligatory 'know your customer' (KYC) procedures for individual users, according to a report by the Economic Times. This violation of customer verification regulations is seen as a breach in the country's efforts to combat cyber fraud.
The telecom company had received a letter last month from the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), urging the firm to adhere strictly to regulations. The directive involves the termination of all business connections that were activated without undergoing the KYC process since the deadline of December 1, 2023, which marked the cutoff for implementing customer verification rules.
In line with the DoT's guidelines on customer verification, the activation status of business SIMs provided to companies must be initially set to inactive. Telecommunications companies are authorized to activate these SIMs only upon verification, ensuring that the demographic details collected through the KYC process match the information provided by the authorized representative of the purchasing company in the end-users list.
Vi asserted compliance with DoT's KYC rules but refrained from commenting on measures taken to address the latest concerns regarding corporate customer verification, as per sources cited in the report.
Vodafone heavily relies on corporate customers for financial support, as the telecom company faces continuous monthly losses in its mobile user base, struggling to compete against larger rivals like Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel in the mobile broadband sector, hindered by delayed fundraising efforts.