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Airtel Payments Bank CEO Shashi Arora Quits Over Aadhaar e-KYC Row

The UIDAI had barred Bharti Airtel and Airtel Payments Bank from conducting Aadhaar-based verification of customers using the e-KYC process.

Shashi Arora. Credit: Twitter

Airtel Payments Bank managing director and chief executive officer Shashi Arora has resigned in the wake of the firm’s e-KYC (know your customer) licence suspension by Aadhaar-issuing body Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI).

“Shashi has decided to move on to pursue opportunities outside of Airtel. We wish Shashi the very best for his future endeavours,” the company said in a statement.

Arora has been working with Airtel in senior leadership roles since 2006. He was appointed managing director and chief executive officer of Airtel Payments Bank on June 1, 2016.

“He has been an asset for Airtel and over the years has contributed to the company’s growth story. Having led the operations in key telecom circles followed by building a strong DTH business, he has laid the foundation for Airtel’s payments bank operations,” the statement said.

The UIDAI had barred Bharti Airtel and Airtel Payments Bank from conducting Aadhaar-based verification of customers using the e-KYC process.

The action was taken following allegations that Bharti Airtel was using the Aadhaar-e-KYC-based SIM verification process to open payments bank accounts of its subscribers without their ‘informed consent’.

UIDAI on Thursday had allowed Bharti Airtel to use Aadhaar for re-verification of its mobile customers till January 10 with stiff riders after it returned the ~138-crore LPG subsidy remitted to the unsolicited payments bank accounts.

It, however, maintained that Airtel Payments Bank e-KYC licence will remain suspended till final enquiry and audit report.

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