App to verify domestic helps, employees using Aadhaar

Whether hiring a domestic help or taking a cab, authenticating the identity of a person is a big challenge in India. A newly-launched mobile application aims to fill this gap by enabling such verifications using Aadhaar.

The application — TrustID — has been developed by Swabhimaanya, which is a registered authentication user agency with the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI).

“The mobile application aims to provide instant verification using the Aadhaar number, name, gender and phone number of a person in less than a minute. It is a sort of assurance that the person is who he/she is says he/she is,” Rahul Pagare, the CEO and founder of Swabhimaanya, told The Hindu .

The person who has been verified receives a phone call along with a message saying that their Aadhaar number was used to verify them.

Starting next month, the company plans to integrate with the application available digitised court records.

“We soon plan to add criminal records within the application. These will be linked to Aadhaar. If Aadhaar is not available, then a search can be made on the basis of name, phone number, location or photograph. We are fine-tuning the feature right now,” he added.

Mr. Pagare explained that while the application can be used to verify the identity of a person, it is broadly aimed at domestic helps and quick service segments like maids, carpenters, cleaners and plumbers.

“Today, a maid comes and says she works in the neighbourhood and hands over some ID. We simply believe her,” he said.

The main source of revenue for the company, however, will come from corporate users doing bulk verification. For individual users, the first 25 verifications will be free of cost. Following this, each verification will cost Rs.5.

Swabhimaanya will target small and medium-sized enterprises, which need to verify users in a quick and cost-effective manner, besides insurance and telecom companies.

“For an insurance policy above a certain amount, one requires a medical test. In most cases, it is difficult to ascertain whether the person seeking insurance is actually the one who takes the test instead of someone else taking the test on their behalf. This too can be verified,” he said.

The company claims the app has been downloaded over 65,000 times since its soft launch in December last year. Mr. Pagare said the application has been seeing a lot of traction from leading metro cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai and Kolkata, where a lot migrants come in search of work.

“Besides the domestic help segment [which includes maids, cooks, drivers and babysitters], we have seen that people are using the application to verify tutors, guitar teachers and gym instructors,” he added.

In addition, employers can rate the people working for them.

“There is LinkedIn for professionals. But for people in this segment, there is nothing that can promote good work. This could also bring down instances of theft, as that can be mentioned in the review too,” Mr. Pagare said.

On the penetration of Aadhaar, he said because of the subsidy benefits linked to it, nearly 99 per cent of the people in the bottom of the economic pyramid have an Aadhaar card.

TrustID has also tied up with Gurgaon police, where in once a person is verified under category of domestic help, employee and tenants, they are automatically registered for a police verification.

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Printable version | Nov 27, 2020 1:30:56 PM |

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