Self KYC for new mobile SIM connection

What is Self KYC

Self KYC or S-KYC as described by the telecom regulator is an alternate and simplified process for obtaining new mobile SIM connection in India. When this is rolled out, you no longer need to visit a physical store to obtain your new SIM. And you can do it style from the comfort of your home and your SIM will be door-delivered, much like any other online delivery service that we have all gotten used to.

When was Self KYC announced

Self KYC was announced by the Department of Telecommunication via circulate number 800-142021- AS.II on 21 September 2021. The regulator has promoted the idea that a consumer should be able to obtain a SIM through an online portal or mobile App and have the benefit of being KYC verified through UIDAI (Aadhaar e-KYC) or documents issued through DigiLocker. Furthermore, it will be incumbent upon the telecom service providers to ensure the quality of sourcing through Self KYC by implementing the new system in a way that helps customers, yet prevent misuse and fraud.

What is the Self KYC Process

The following steps are prescribed by the regulator for Self KYC. We can break this down a bit so is easy to follow all the steps to be done by the Customer and the Service provider in the backend.

Steps carried out by the Customer

The customer needs to carry out the following steps to complete the KYC verification.

1) Customer registers for a new connection through a web portal or mobile app by providing an existing number. In case the customer doesn’t have an existing or alternate number, the number of a family or friend can be used for this purpose.

2) The number is validated through an OTP.

3) The customer can proceed to provide proof of ID and Proof of Address. There are two ways the customer can provide this: by providing Aadhaar and OTP or through DigiLocker. Both must be done with the full and explicit consent of the user.

4) The customer proceeds to capture a live selfie video to ensure that the customer is real and no spoofing attempt is done to obtain a SIM fraudulently.

5) All of the details can now pre-fill the Customer Application Form (CAF) for the customer to verify and submit. The customer can add additional details such as current address if it’s different from the Proof of Address (e.g. Aadhaar) submitted.

6) The process is validated through an OTP (to the alternate number provided by the customer) as a final step of the process.

In addition to the above, if the customer is not a local resident of the city in which the SIM is applied for (i.e Aadhaar address is different from the current address to which the customer is expecting their SIM to be door-delivered), a number of a local resident must be provided and validate through an OTP. Note that this step, albeit causing some practical issues, is intended to allow the service provider to ship the SIM to the current local address which is different from the one provided as part of the proof of address.

Steps carried out by the Service Provider in the backend before the SIM is issued

The service provider needs to carry out the following steps to validate the CAF before issuing the SIM as part of the Self KYC process.

1) The CAF is complete without any missing, gibberish, incorrect or invalid entries.

2) The photograph (selfie) quality is good and liveness verified beyond doubt.

3) The photograph (selfie) has matched with the ID Photo (e.g. Aadhaar).

4) The location of the customer is verified through geo fencing and ensured presence in India.

5) Once all of the above is validated, the SIM is shipped to the customer.

SIM Delivery, activation and backend processes

Once the SIM is delivered to the customer, the following steps are to be followed for validating the address and activating the SIM by the service provider.

1) The inactive SIM is delivered to the customer address (local current address for outstation customers whose Address is different from the ID proof address).

2) The new SIM (with the new number) is validated through an OTP.

3) A confirmation message is sent to the alternate number provided by the customer in the CAF.

4) The SIM’s geo location is captured and persisted in the service provider’s backend.

5) Timestamp of the SIM activation is captured and persisted in the service provider’s backend.

6) The SIM location is validated by the service provider in the backend to ensure that the SIM has been delivered and activated at the address provided in the CAF.

The regulator has noted that if all of the above steps are done in an automated fashion then the digital signature for the CAF is not applicable for service providers. Furthermore, the regulator has restricted one connection per customer through Self KYC.  The regulator has encouraged the use of advanced artificial intelligence tools to ensure a friction free end to end Self KYC process for consumers, yet safeguarding the process from misuse and fraud.

Did you know that frslabs is helping 4 of the top 10 Insurances, 2 of the top 10 Telcos, 3 of the top 15 Banks, 2 of the top 10 NBFCs, 2 major government bodies and numerous technology companies with onboarding, authentication, ID verification and fraud prevention services. Talk to us to see how we can help you overcome major challenges in KYC compliance, customer onboarding and fraud.

How can frslabs power your Self KYC services

With over a decade of experience and two of the top 5 telecom operators as customers and over 50+ telecom service providers benefiting from our services, we are uniquely positioned to help with KYC and fraud prevention solutions for telecom companies. As part of the new Self KYC process prescribed by DOT, we offer the following solution:

1) A web and mobile SDK for customers to complete the Self KYC steps (Aadhaar or Digilocker KYC, Face matching, Geo fencing and time stamping).

2) Voice token based advanced video liveness checks along with a highly accurate face matching technology (independently validated by several Banks, Insurance and FinTechs globally).

3) Allowing for alternate flows when needed for outstation customers in the digital flow.

4) Application anomaly detection and validation to ensure CAF is uniformly completed and validated with same size photograph affixed on the CAF automatically.

5) Backend APIs for automatic validations before the SIM is issued.

6) Backend APIs for automatically validating the customer geo location with the address in CAF (advanced fuzzy address matching).

7) Data compression at the point of capture to ensure that the documents and video submitted are optimised for faster data transmission, avoid upload failures, and minimise long-term storage of image and video data.

8) Fraud detection through advanced SIM and IMEI links building from CDR, advanced demographic data and face de-duping to detect abuse or misuse of the system as required by the regulator.

All of this can be integrated into your existing KYC flow and rolled out on-premises or on your own private cloud rapidly.  


We are your friends at frslabs

FRSLABS is an award-winning research and development company specialising in customer onboarding, identity verification and fraud prevention solutions for businesses. Whether you are a big bank, insurance, telco or a small investment broker, we help you onboard and verify your customers with greater flexibility, compliance and reliability.

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We are driven by our mission to touch a billion lives with our tools and not beholden by venture capital or mindless competition. We therefore have the freedom to do the right thing, and price our products sensibly, keeping your success and our staff in mind.

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