Reliance Jio, Airtel and Vodafone plan contactless SIM sales to get new customers on board

The top three telcos in the country are looking to work out a secure and contactless digital customer acquisition process to handle the sharp fall in mobile connection sales over the lockdown

With the sale of mobile connections falling over the Covid-19 lockdown, the top three telcos in the country, Airtel, Reliance Jio and Vodafone, are trying to work out a secure and contactless process to acquire customers digitally.

The telcos will be seeking approval from the telecom department (DoT) and the home ministry to implement the process once they arrive at a consensus on how to ensure that all e-KYC parameters are met digitally. The companies have to ensure that it can be done without the customer having to physically go to a mobile store to buy a connection or show ID papers.

“Operators are aware people need mobile connections but are facing hardship in getting them amid the nationwide lockdown, which is why, they are collectively working on a secure technology solution that can make SIMs available when people need it the most, and also boost customer adds,” said Rajan Mathews, director general of Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) that represents the three telcos.

Under the proposed exercise, these telcos are likely to seek government approval to arrange for secure and hygienic home delivery of SIM cards via couriers in case the lockdown is extended.

The sale of new mobile connections has taken quite a hit with the Covid-19 lockdown. As per estimates, all these three carriers have collectively added only 500,000 new connections in March as compared to the 2.5-3 million they add normally.

Currently, all recharges have gone digital since customers cannot go to mobile stores and mobile number portability (MNP) has also fallen since people cannot step out and telcos cannot send people to get documents verified.

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