The Unique Identification Authority of India has announced that business organisations using Aadhaar services will now have to pay Rs 20 for each customer verification and 50 paise for authentication of each transaction carried out by the entities.

The Unique Identification Authority of India, in a March 6 gazette notification, said government entities and the Department of Posts will be exempt from authentication charges.

“Aadhaar authentication services shall be charged at the rate of Rs 20 (including taxes) for each e-KYC transaction and Rs 0.50 (including taxes) for each Yes and No authentication transaction from requesting entities,” the notification said.

Scheduled commercial banks that provide Aadhaar enrolment service and updation facilities will also be exempt from authentication transaction charges. “However, such banks, which fall short of the Aadhaar enrolment and update targets, as communicated from time to time, will be charged in proportion to the shortfall in achieving the target,” the notification said.

The notification mandated that businesses to deposit the authentication transaction charges within 15 days of an invoice being issued based on usage. A delay in payment will attract 1.5% interest per month and discontinuation of authentication and e-Know Your Customer services.

Entities that do not wish to pay authentication transaction charges will have to discontinue use of Aadhaar authentication services. “However, the transaction charges as applicable till the date of deactivation of access to authentication services shall have to be paid,” the notification said.

The charges will be in addition to the licence fees and financial disincentives, according to the notification.

Aadhaar ordinance

The Union Cabinet on February 28 approved the promulgation of Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Ordinance, 2019, which amends relevant laws to comply with a Supreme Court judgement passed in September 2018. The Lok Sabha had passed a bill for the purpose on January 4, but the Rajya Sabha had not voted on it yet.

An amendment to the Telegraph Act made Aadhaar-based identification for mobile phone services voluntary and prohibits the storage of either the Aadhaar number or the biometric data linked to it. A similar amendment to the Prevention of Money Laundering Act enables banking firms to use customers’ Aadhaar on a voluntary basis.

The ordinance also mandated that the entities that perform authentication comply with privacy standards and security specified by the UIDAI, according to ET Tech.