Business Today 14th January 2018 - Page 18

THE BUZZ eKYC AIRTEL PAYMENTS BANK FINED FOR AADHAAR MISUSE `17,000 CRORE The amount that banks lost to frauds in the last financial year, the finance ministry has informed the Lok Sabha. FOODPANDA DEAL OLA PROMISES DINNER EN ROUTE T HE UNIQUE Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has suspended the eKYC licence of Airtel Payments Bank alleging it routed LPG subsidy payments worth `190 crore to its payments bank accounts, wherein some of the accounts were opened and force- seeded with Aadhaar without the informed consent of the customers. The UIDAI has also penalised the bank `2.5 crore. What Airtel has done seems like finding loopholes in the Aadhaar payments system and exploiting them. At the time of going to press, Airtel was given restricted relief for using its eKYC and authentication service only for reverification and issuance of SIM cards. The department of telecom mandates operators to verify each mobile number with Aadhaar. The problem with this process is that it is diff icult for government agencies to diff erentiate the nature of consent – whether the consent was taken for SIM verification or opening a bank account. Only users can take note of such violations and report to the UIDAI. While this is an area where Airtel has violated norms, but when it comes to subsidy transfers, banks have an easy way to exploit the system. For instance, NPCI, the umbrella organisation for retail payments, says a bank is required to ask the user if he or she wants subsidy payments in a particular account. In this case, Airtel should have asked users if they want their subsidy transfers to be shifted from their other bank account to Airtel payments bank account. But in the absence of any statutory powers being ng given to NPCI, its rules could d be easily flouted by banks. The agencies need to fix some of these loopholes to avoid repetition of such instances. -Manu Kaushik 18 I BUSINESS TODAY I January 14I 2018 CAB AGGREGATOR Ola acquiring Foodpanda’s India business in exchange for stock is only a hint of more consolidation to come. As investors looked for exits and poorly run firms were forced out, the domestic food tech sector saw diminished interest because the unit economics of delivery didn’t add up. The Ola-Foodpan- da combine will be a threat to both Zomato and Swiggy as Ola is present in 110 cities with over a million cabs and drivers, giving it the edge in inventory optimisa- tion and product experience. Foodpanda, meanwhile, is pres- ent in 100 cities and has 15,000 restaurants on its platform. With Ola expected to pump in $200 million, Foodpanda's app experi- ence and back-end technology will get much better. - Goutam Das